Every Night I Watch the Sun Set

Every night I watch the sun set. I live in a four-story building and there is a deck up on the roof with a wrought-iron table and chairs. The height of the roof is just right so I can see over the tree line and watch the sun sink towards the horizon.

My apartment faces south and I can see the western sky from my windows. The first signal that sunset is near is when the sun shines in my eyes. I am usually sitting in the comfy chair in the den when the sun clears the window frame. It means I have about an hour before sunset.

I watch from my window as the sun sinks lower in the sky and I know when it is time to go up to the roof. With about 20 minutes to go, the sun is still a blazing, orange ball. On nights when there are scattered clouds this is the time when their edges get highlighted in oranges and pinks as if they are on fire. But on a clear night like tonight it is different.

The sun darkens as it retreats towards the edge of the sky. It imperceptibly changes from orange to red. And it grows. The sky around it begins to darken too. This is transition time. Everything changes color as day moves into night. It happens faster than I realize. Just like it does every night. And this how summer fades away. Minute by minute. Sunset by sunset.

Suddenly the sun is gone. Sometimes I imagine a sound as it just drops below the tree line. It sounds like a splash. Or a sploosh. But softer. And drier.

And now it’s time to go back downstairs. Because it is night. And dark. And soon there will be a chill in the air. Even in the summer.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen