Sunsets, especially sunsets on the beach are # 1 on the list of clichés to avoid in photography. Yet beach sunsets persist on Instagram and Facebook because they are breath-taking, evocative.

Photo credit: Jackie Gassett

Photo credit: Jackie Gassett


. . . the gauzy hinge between sea and sky, the limitless horizon dividing the elements, the disappearing point where we were headed.      ~  Patricia Hampl  The Florist’s Daughter

My mother had a placid and accepting attitude toward life and death. At her funeral the hymns sung by the congregation were full of hope, “I Stand Amazed” and “The Love of God” among them. Another song in the Mennonite Church Hymnal entitled “Sunset and Evening Star” (which was not sung) pulls out the first four words of Tennyson’s poem “Crossing the Bar” written in 1889 just three years before he died.

Crossing the Bar


Tennyson, also appearing to accept death as part of life, uses the metaphor of the sandbar on the beach to paint a picture of the tide of life pushing out to the “boundless deep” to which we return. The poet hopes that though he may be carried beyond the limits of time and space as we know them “he will look upon the face of his ‘Pilot’ when he has crossed the sand bar.”

This past July Mother crossed the bar into eternal glory and there she has beheld the face of her Pilot. Oh, how we miss her.

But now I must cross the bar of challenge and opportunity ever looking for new horizons. How about you?

What bar of challenge and opportunity confronts you now?