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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Crowder

Sunsets and the Beach

Not many things on this planet give me complete moments of peace. The idea of being content in any facet of life is something I’ve always struggled with heavily. My life has always been go go go, always trying to find new ways to stay occupied. It’s like I’ve always subconsciously known that I was afraid to be alone with my own thoughts.

This last fall, if you’ve read my previous posts you would know that life for me was and is still very tough. I would find myself lost in a sea of “what ifs” and “why me’s” in my head; it was like a jail cell. I would find myself disassociating from reality because these thoughts would entrap me. One day I had enough, I needed to get out of my apartment and my head. So I started driving, I had no idea where I was going I just knew I had to leave. About an hour later I ended up at this park, I saw a lot of people there and grew curious about it. So I parked, got out, and began to walk around. The reason why I was so curious about the number of people there was that it was the middle of November, in Michigan, if you’re not from Michigan, November is not the kindest month, it was very cold outside. After I walked around for a bit I saw this staircase that led up this hill and I was like “oh cool a hill” so I began to go up it. When I got to the top I realized why so many people were there.

At the top is this lookout over Lake Michigan, you’re about 200 ft up over the lake and the view is breathtaking. But that’s not what really got me. What got me is the people around me, I saw people truly in awe of what they were seeing, little kids full of joy running around. Couples enjoying a moment of just silence filled with love. The joy of the people around me brought a sense of joy and a time of peace. I remember just sitting there, taking it all in, with no AirPods, no phone, no distractions, just the view of the sunset and the sound of waves crashing up against the beach and laughter from the people around me. It was truly a beautiful thing.

But then I began to look at the sunset and its significance. Why are sunsets so beautiful beyond the view they gave us, what do they symbolize? This is what I’ve gathered, a sunset marks the end of the day, that day could’ve been amazing or awful, heartbreaking or joyful, fulfilling or unfulfilling, whatever it may have been, it’s now over. It will repeat this cycle, but it will repeat with different circumstances. This sunset could come after a beautiful sunny day, a stormy day, or a gloomy day, and sometimes those days repeat themselves. In Michigan, the sun doesn’t come out all too often in the winter months, it’s gloomy for a long time. Could that not be like a season of life? I’ve experienced a long time of gloomy days, stormy days, and very few sunny days. But the beautiful thing about it is I never know what the next day holds. Sure, the weather forecast might tell you that tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy again. But sometimes they’re wrong, and sometimes you’re wrong. You see, we project our bad days onto the next, we tell ourselves when we go to bed that tomorrow is going to be a tough day. Why do we do that? Why do we forecast a bad day when we could forecast a beautiful day? Although the next day might very well be gloomy and depressing, we can go into that day with the attitude that it’s going to be a beautiful day. It’s like the sunset, it’s like the beach itself.

The other day my buddy and I went out to Lake Michigan on a dark, cold, and cloudy night. We walked the peer out onto the Lake. Waves crashed all around us and we were surrounded by this view of terrifying darkness out onto the Lake. But what I realize is we didn’t see horror, we weren’t afraid, we saw beauty in that, awesomeness in that, I remember saying to my friend, “I didn’t know how to describe it, it’s something you just have to see for yourself”. This is life in a nutshell, you’re going to go through such awfully tough times, and you’re going to have to look out into this horrifying darkness, it’s up to you if you see beauty in it and begin to walk out onto it, or you can stay horrified and planted in that spot, never improving from the original place you’ve found yourself in.

Life is very tough for me right now, but I know I’m not the only one. I’ve decided to see the beauty in the darkness that lies ahead, I’ve decided that although I don’t know how long this darkness will last I do see the potential beauty on the other side. Today I challenge you to walk through hell and enjoy the view, appreciate the hardship around you. I challenge you to look out into the abyss and take a step toward it. Finally, I challenge you to find that peace and contentment in your life. Whatever that may be, see the beauty in the simple things around you, just like that sunset did for me. You’re worth it, keep on pushing, keep on believing, I pray that you’ll see blessings in your life like no other, and I pray for peace in your life. Whether you’re Christian or not, I want you to know that my Savior, Jesus, loves you no matter how far you feel you’ve drifted away. You are loved.

Trevor Crowder

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