The sunsets on this prairie are nothing short of a gift.
After a long day working under the hot summer sun, or inside the walls of buildings that make us feel small, we understand that if we look up towards the heavens to catch the sun sneaking away, we may be rewarded with a splash of spectacular color.
I’ve seen sunsets in other parts of the world–across the vast ocean, peeking over the mountaintops and at the edge of rolling corn fields, but there is something about the way the sun says goodbye along the outskirts of my own world, against the familiar buttes and grain bins and horses on the horizon that puts me at ease and thrills me at the same time.
I have theories about things like hail storms and tornadoes and blinding blizzards, that they’re a way of slowing us down, reminding us to surrender to an earth that spins no matter what our plans are for crops or hair-dos or making it our Christmas party on time.
The storms are unpredictable, but the sun is always there.
And it will always set and rise again.
And sometimes as we put the burgers on the grill, close the gates for the cattle or put the lawn mower in the shed we will find ourselves bathed in yellow, gold, purple, orange, pink and blue and hues we cannot find in our crayon box. We will look above the oak groves or down to the end of the pink road and we will find that sun playing and bouncing against the clouds that roll over the prairie and buttes that we know so well.
I tilt my head up and run to find the nearest hill so that I may watch how this landscape looks under the different shades of light.
Under these prairie sunsets I am a spectator on the familiar ground of home.
A tourist with my mouth agape in wonder.
And thankful for a world that’s round and a sky so vast and forgiving.