The melody the sunsets sing  

My Facebook timeline practically bulges with sunset photos. Some of my friends’ Facebook pages do, too. 

Maybe your – or some of your friends’ – social media posts are the same. 

Frankly, I just can’t help myself. The scenes are absolutely amazing, day after day, week after week, year after year. I’ve posted sunset pictures when on an extended stay in California as far back as 2010, and I routinely post them after my and my husband’s frequent walks here in North Louisiana in 2022. 

Oh, and let’s not forget the pre-sunset scenes – that overhead field of blue that’s so often strewn with patches of white. Or even gray, when a thunderstorm is approaching. I love it all. Anyone who has access to such overhead viewing and who has even the teeniest bit of appreciation for art can probably say the same. 

Lately I’ve paired another I-just-can’t-help-myself action with these views of nature. I want to give credit where credit is due – and that credit goes to the Master Artist. So I’ve found myself led to label my sunset Facebook posts like this:  

July 1 – “Another masterly painted sunset.” 

Aug. 3 – “Some evening artwork displayed by the creator of the universe.” 

Scores of my friends obviously feel the same appreciation if the “like” and “love” buttons are any indication. 

Sometimes when I’m taking the photos I just want to burst into song as my friends from the Christian Student Center did during my time as a Louisiana Tech student. For some reason, one springtime day in the 1970s – I forget the specifics – about half a dozen of us were traipsing through the woods when suddenly someone stopped and noted how strongly we could feel God’s presence in that nature-saturated place. 

That was all it took. One of the multiple song leaders in the group hit the first notes, and bass, alto and tenor quickly joined in: 

This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas –
His hand the wonders wrought. 

This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.” 

Indeed.

I haven’t written a song about nature (yet), but some 2010 Facebook prose does show my appreciation of it, even though I failed to credit the Father at that time. That evening my husband and I witnessed the sunset at Pelican Point in Crystal Cove State Park, between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, California: 

“I almost expected to hear a soft ‘thump’ when the last glowing arc of the sun slipped into the Pacific. Luminous pinks and oranges intermingled above gentle waves. As the silhouette of a single sailboat cut across the waters, a razor thin crescent moon slung itself above the hills that hugged the horizon. 

“Pink turned to burgundy, and the strata of orange smoldered in soft neon. Slowly another point of light began to appear – Venus. The sweet smell of coastal sage wafted across the bluff, and the moon began to burn ever brighter. Our footsteps echoed on the boardwalk, and we turned to have one last look….” 

A later Facebook post described it as “one of the most beautiful, relaxing and gratifying sunsets I have ever seen in my life.” 

So, belatedly, 12 years later, let me add one more line to that 2010 post and bring another song to mind. 

“Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah.”  

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Sallie Rose Hollis lives in Ruston and retired from Louisiana Tech as an associate professor of journalism and the assistant director of the News Bureau. She can be contacted at sallierose@mail.com. 


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