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The Passage of Time and Migration from New York City to Los Angeles

Michael Loren

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I missed ten years of sunsets. Not because I meant to, but because I was busy working. See, for around ten years of my life, I performed in theatres in New York City eight times per week. Any inch of sunlight can kill any good lighting designer’s work for the stage, so for a decade of my life, I missed those peaceful early evening moments where nature lulls us into introspection and reverie.

Now, I wasn’t completely sunset-free. I saw the sun slide beneath the horizon on vacations and the occasional day where daylight savings time just lined up with when I would get out of work on Sundays (though the lining up of those days with the perfect building angle through which to see the sky in New York City were few and far between). And don’t feel too bad for me, I was doing my dream job.

However, around year seven of my life of indoor afternoons, I began to miss golden hour. There’s something special about the time when the day is ending and orange light peacefully shifts into the sound of crickets and the cool breezes of evening. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but I knew I was missing something. And, I now understand that it’s something important.

What makes me suddenly wax poetic about sunsets? Well, I am currently on a flight that is traveling from the west coast of the United States to the east coast. And as I watch the day wane out the airplane window, hastened by the rapidity of my travels east, I am reminded of the importance of witnessing the end of our days.

Sunsets, like the latter portion of our lives on this planet, inspire us to look back with gratitude at our days, to take a breath, and to sit in the brilliance of the moment. That moment right before the sun disappears below the horizon is like a snapshot in time. The more memorable sunsets, the ones where we are present, content, and appreciative, place a marker in the timeline of our lives. We connect those markers with a seemingly endless stream of days and nights, but those sunsets hold our memories.

As the sun sets 10,000 feet in the air above the earth, I have a glimpse into the important things. The things I will look back and remember when I come to the sunset of my life. Watching my son play in the back yard, laying on a beach with my love, and yes, traveling to new adventures.

At the end of the day, the sun doesn’t actually set. The sun doesn’t move. We do. We move on. We shift perspective, we age, and we change our priorities. And we move from New York City to Los Angeles in hopes of a future of many more sunsets to enjoy with our loved ones. I now watch the sun set practically every day at my home a country away from the bright lights of the stages on which I worked. I have changed. I have moved. And I am grateful.

As the sun sets on another day, I am grateful that I can still enjoy the company of those I love most. I am grateful for the words and the platform to share my thoughts with others. And, as night falls, I am appreciative of the snapshots of sunsets in my past and the opportunity to enjoy as many of them as possible in the future. I encourage you, whether you're in New York, Los Angeles, or anywhere in between, take a moment to notice the beauty of the passage of time.

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Professional writer and journalist with concentration in data analysis. I specialize in interpreting data to give you unbiased, understandable information related to the state of California.

Los Angeles, CA
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