Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awkward Sunsets

My family owns ten acres of open farmland, and we get to see great sunsets all the time. My mom will often see a sunset and start exclaiming about it and we consequently all have to get up from the dinner table to go look. We are pretty dutiful about it, we don't join in with her exclamations, and we are always ready to go back to the dinner table.

Now one of three things could be true about the slightly awkward moments that sunsets incur. Number one could be that none of us really have the sensitivity to enjoy the sunset. Number two could be that we do enjoy looking at the sunset but we are really hungry. Number three, though, (which is my best guess) deserves a little explanation.

I understand how my mom feels. I felt at an early age, although I didn't put it this way, that beauty hurts. I would look and look at the Appalachian mountains. But all along I didn't know how to describe those mountains. I didn't know how to tell someone else how I felt about them.

But that was just it. There is no way to describe mountains and sunsets, because God created them for us to look at with our eyes. Words are not for mountains and sunsets. Eyes are. (Music education plug here: words are not for music either, to quote one educator, "talking about music is like dancing about architecture.") The reason we feel awkward when Mom tells us to look at the sunset is because we are used to incessant talking, and there's nothing we can say when it comes to sunsets.

I want to praise God for all of the senses. I appreciate the visual arts, because they are "visual." I appreciate music that I can hear, and I appreciate words that I can speak and write. Praise the Lord for his "goodness to the children of men."

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