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The Other Black Friday

Sunset over PacificThere is something magical about sunset.  It could be because of the brilliant colors that often appear; it could be because it is a visual cue that a day is winding down; it could be because it brings up memories of special shared sunsets from our past. Whatever the reason, I think most people would agree that it is one of those events in nature that makes almost everyone stop and watch and generally feel great while doing so.

On Black Friday (For those outside the US, that is the Friday after our Thanksgiving holiday when many Americans do insane amounts of shopping at the crack of dawn to take advantage of sales.), I went down the California coast to do a photo shoot.  I was hunched over most of the time taking photos of tidepools so was unaware of the time or anything else happening around me.  As I noticed a shift in the light, I looked up, facing away from the ocean, and saw the hundreds of people on the beach all gazing out at the horizon.  I turned around, carefully balancing on a wet seaweed-covered rock, and saw the show they were enjoying.

The sun was falling beneath the horizon and the sky was becoming a rich shade of pinkish orange.  While it was a stunning scene, I turned back to watch the people.  Seeing so many people out in nature truly appreciating the wonders of our world, especially on a day that is known for shopping, was a more spectacular and moving image for me than the brilliant sunset.  In that instant, I felt a connection to this group as we all shared a beautiful moment.  As the sky darkened, we all slowly left the beach, but I think many of us will carry the memory of that experience for a long time.

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