Sunsets offer a crowning moment to the day.
Bringing change, a transition from day to night, the end of a cycle.
Leaving space for a new day to start.
This is the message I received during my last walk down the Ecuadorian coast, as the sky turned to canvas, radiant in lavender and pink.
I have lived abroad for the past three years in South America, initially completing a Peace Corps service in Guyana, then moving to Ecuador, where I’ve been reunited with my parents and brother for the past nine months. All this is about to change, however, as I return to the United States to start again.
When change is coming, we have a habit to visualize how life will be different in two weeks from now, one month from now, a year from now.
Of course, change often comes unannounced, but in cases where I see it coming, this can be what I find myself doing.
Perhaps contradictory to living in the present, this habit also can bring a sense of appreciation to what we are experiencing now; prompting recognition that whether the current experience is good or bad, it is unique, temporary, and should be appreciated fully.
I’ve spent this time in Ecuador waking up to the sound of waves, taking long walks along the beach, and enjoying an epicurean freedom of choice: whether or not I put on a shirt throughout the entire day.
It’s been an inimitable blessing to have this opportunity, where I’ve been free to explore the things that make me tick and gain a better understanding of myself.
Writing this chapter in my life, a chapter that includes deepening my relationships with family, learning a second language, making new friendships, and integrating myself into a global community will no doubt add value to the remaining story of my life.
But like any good book, one chapter must lead to the next, and this chapter is coming to a close.
Two weeks from now, I will be back in the United States.
The sunsets over the Pacific Ocean replaced with sunrises over the Atlantic.
The sound of the waves in the morning replaced with traffic and morning news.
The daily time spent together with family replaced with text message updates.
The freedom to wander and explore replaced with a need for decision and commitment.
Two weeks, one month, or one year from today, some parts of all our situations will be changed. With the future comes new decisions that will need to be made; decisions that may direct where a next chapter begins. But that’s a story for another day.
Today, I will keep writing the chapter I am currently in, enjoying these moments and making them count, knowing that change is coming—as I take in the sunset of the present day.
Author: Chase Gorishek
Image: Artem Popov/Flickr & Author’s Own
Editor: Sara Kärpänen