icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-user Skip to content
Senior Correspondent

Sunset in Slow Motion

Sunset in Slow Motion

Photo by Marc Brreslin

Written while watching a performance of Lita Albuquerque's "An Elongated Now" on Laguna Beach, CA, on November 8, 2014, showing the bond of art and nature.

Two hundred people clad all in white walk barefoot single file onto the beach to wait for the sunset. Waves roll in and out again. Swimmers splash and a couple of boats stand still. Paddle boarders float by. Pelicans and gulls fly, unconcerned by the line of white-clad people forming along the water's edge.

The two hundred white-clad people turn slowly in unison to face the sun. It is still bright and casts its glory on a path over the ocean and to the shore. The incoming waves curl as if to enclose the white-clad people. A beachgoer does cartwheels along the beach. The white-clad people closer to the brightest part of the sun turn into black silhouettes.

A cool breeze comes up on the unseasonably hot day. The golden touch of impending sunset casts the sun's glow on the yellowing white-clad people. The shadows fall across the now-dimpled hills and valleys of the sand. A blond girl walks across the sand and a long, thin shadow follows her. A couple walks on the sand in the other direction with two thin strands of shadow preceding them.

The blue sea is yellowing now as the sun's rays blend into it. The faces on the white-clad people are bisected by shadow now. The light changes as the sun sinks and our planet turns. Art and nature combine. A spot on the sea begins to sparkle like firecrackers. The sun glints off the windows of the houses on the hillsides. Is the sun sending a message to the glass of the windows, or vice versa?

The sun is brighter now, consolidating its yellow gleam while the black of the silhouettes deepens into shadow. The white-clad people stand very patiently still, quietly being transformed by the setting sun. A very tall, lithe girl on the beach balances dramatically on a round soccer ball that mimics the blazing ball of the sun.

The golden path from the sun across the sea is breaking up. The golden glow on the beach is graying. The sun sinks slowly behind the mountains of Catalina Island before it can reach the sea. And now it's half gone.

Steadily, the sun sinks until it is gone from view. It is dusk. Light pink streaks through the sky where the sun has gone. It is not one of the incredibly colorful sunsets known to Laguna Beach, but it's peaceful. And still the white-clad people stand still and quiet while the sounds of the incoming waves get louder. The birds have gathered on a rock in the ocean. Are they also watching the sunset, or the white-clad people?

A drone flies in and by to capture the art piece. The white-clad people slowly revolve in place. As they turn, they look down at a small blue light that each holds in a hand. The sky darkens as the white-clad people stop revolving. The little dots of hand-held blue add a broken dotted blue line to the scene.

A few people still swim in the darkening, warmer than usual sea. The large boulders in the water are etched more clearly by their deepening blackness against a pink sherbert stripe in the sky. The white-clad people walk slowly off the beach, each still holding a blue dot. The pink sherbert sky subtly changes to orange sherbert as the two hundred white-clad people walk away in single file.

It's only 5:25 p.m. Sunset comes early in November in southern California.

Stay Up to Date

Sign up for articles by Suellen Zima and other Senior Correspondents.

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living
Love Old Journalists

Our Mission

To amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society

Learn More