Cloudy sunsets make the best sunsets – and other life advice

Sunset with Amazing Clouds
Sunset with Amazing Clouds

The joy of capturing sunsets

Ever since I got my first iPhone and realized the power of being able to snap a picture anywhere, anytime, I began to capture sunset pictures.

It brings me joy every time I catch a sunset, and the act of taking a picture of it, somehow brings me even more joy. Perhaps it is because I know I can revisit this moment whenever I want.

There is something truly magical about a sunset. They happen every day, without fail. Yet, on a rare occasion, you get amazing bursts of colors that put even the most curmudgeonly among us in awe.

Sunsets are beautiful.

Sunsets are unique.

Sunsets force you to be present in the moment to enjoy something that will only happen in this particular way, with these exact colors, only this one time.

And while I tend to see more amazing sunsets on vacation, when we are relaxed, spending more time outdoors, being active.

They also happen at home, every day. I try to capture as many of those as I can too.

The best sunsets are accompanied by clouds

When I look back at my now 500+ photo album of sunsets, I began to notice a real theme.

The certifiably BEST sunsets, all happened on cloudy days, or at when least clouds were present when the sun was setting. The clouds reflect the sun, reshape the light, bend and twist the sun in mysterious ways.

Cloudy sunsets, are the most memorable sunsets.

Without the clouds, sunsets, while never bland, aren’t exactly setting the sky on fire with a show that’ll turn heads.

It turns out that the clear, beautiful days without clouds in the sky turn out to be mostly duds for my sunset photo collection.

The best memories come from cloudy days

As much as we always want life to be easy and clear, it often is muddled with cloudiness, murkiness, or times that are simply somewhere in the middle.

Yet, like sunsets, some of my cloudiest days turned out to be some of the best stories and some of our favorite family memories:

  • There was the time that I got so frustrated with my wife’s grandma, that I cursed her out when arriving for Thanksgiving at my in-laws.
  • There was the time that I was so sick as a dog, that I vomited all over colonial Williamsburg and had to sit in a car for 3 hours, ruining everyone’s day.
  • There was the time, in 3rd grade that I was so frustrated with the substitute teacher that I cursed her out in front of the whole class and had to literally drag my desk to the principal’s office.
  • Or what about the time that my son cried in his baby carseat in the back of the car for 3 straight hours on a road trip.

I could keep going, but I think you get the point. Those are some of my cloudiest days.

Now, they are some of my favorite stories to tell and bring me more joy to recount my own misfortunes.

Life is like a sunset

When you are having a cloudy day or are feeling blue, remember that it is a part of life. And chances are that at the end of your cloudy day, you are going to receive something more beautiful than the days that are clear.

A memorable moment. A beautiful sunset.

Maybe you can’t see it now. Maybe not even a year from now, but at some point, you will.

You need the cloudy days in your life to truly appreciate the clear days.

Don’t forget that even in the mediocre times, or the truly dark and rainy days, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

And today’s folly, may be tomorrow’s best story.

No matter how hard your day is, no matter how bad things may be, you still have a sunset to remind you that tomorrow is another day. Today is over. It’s done.

And sometimes you simply need the bad days in your life, to help balance out and make you appreciate your good days.

I certainly find this in my happiness tracking. I relish the clear days even more, because I remember that just a few days ago was a meh day.

But the thing that I like about sunsets the most, is that it is a poignant reminder that our day is coming to a conclusion, and there is nothing we can do about it. The earth is going to keep revolving whether we like it to our not.

Sunset turns to twilight, twilight turns to night. Day after day, the earth does it’s job without fail.

Tomorrow is a new day.

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  1. “There was the time that I got so frustrated with my wife’s grandma, that I cursed her out when arriving for Thanksgiving at my in-laws.”

    Oh the joys of family gatherings! I’ve had a few fun ones myself. (Although for whatever reason they usually involve my family…) Definitely laughed out loud at this one.

  2. Waking up with the rising sun lightening the room up – accompanied by a soundtrack of birds chirping away, is up alongside sunsets.

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