It was a beautiful sunset — or was it a sunrise?
I watched it from our deck of my family’s house overlooking Greers Ferry Lake. Sara Ann was about to begin her senior year in high school, my last school year with a child at home. Prelude to the empty nest.
Between the uncharacteristically cool breeze, the natural beauty and the chardonnay, my mood was reflective as I thought about the beginning of the end of this part of my life. A life defined by semesters, school days, spring breaks and Christmas vacations. The end of my girls’ lives as children as they move into adulthood — college graduation and the beginning of a bright career for Elizabeth, high school graduation and off to college for Sara Ann. A beginning for me as, for the first time in 21 years, I explore my own priorities and interests apart from motherhood. The end of rules and curfews. The beginning of years of friendship with my girls.
I love pictures of sunsets. This particular sunset marked the end of an amazing day, but as sure as it set over the lake, the sun rose again on the other side of the night. When you look at the photo, unless you know the exact location and directional orientation, you don’t know whether it’s a sunrise or a sunset. So I realize it is with life — every end holds within it a new beginning and there is beauty in both.
Though I know this transition will not be easy and I approach it with mixed emotions, I cling to the idea that, for us, the sun is rising.
Photo credit: Sara Ann