I went to the beach at sunset last week. It was a freezing 32 degrees, but not much wind. One by one cars pulled into the parking lot to gaze at the big yellow sphere of fire descending upon the horizon. As the sun began its decent, it illuminated the droplet saturated clouds producing hues like a back lit stained glass church window. Pink, orange, yellow and red, the colors kept changing like time lapse photography as it reached its final resting place and sunk below the horizon out of view.
I went to the beach tonight in hopes to see the grand Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, the Christmas Star. They were nowhere in sight to the naked eye, the clouds made sure of that. Instead, the universe provided a stunning sky filled with ever changing colors, so breathtaking, you could hear the audible sounds of “ooh-ahh and WOW” from bystanders sharing this one-of-a-kind beauty in our presence.
I stayed for a few minutes after the light of day was put to bed and dark of night began. But clouds were still abounding and stars remained hidden. The only visible heavenly body was the moon and it’s dim reflective light. What I intended to see tonight was a planetary alignment, one that had not been seen in 800 years. What I witnessed instead was a breathtaking sunset. One that would not soon be repeated.
Sometimes we limit our focus, so much so that we can't see what's before us. But if we are willing to keep our eyes open to see beyond what we’re looking for we may get something unexpected. Stay open, for the next breathtaking moment may be waiting just outside out of the corner of your eye.