We love our new home. We love the simplicity, the stillness, how you end and begin your days with a short boat ride to dock as your hand dangles in the salt water. You notice as the season starts to change and the water cools off from its summer heat, your fingers become colder and colder on these rides.
When I was in Italy, I loved the way the world stopped for the sunsets. Shops closed, families came out, and everyone made their way to the edge of town where they drank wine, smoked cigars, and talked that days gossip. I remember watching them come together each day and sliding into this routine with them. I remember deciding there that I would come home and create patterns in my own home one day where I was just as in tune with the sun like this.
When you seek out to find your sunset, be sure to do the following:
- Look for the details. Breathe deeply. Watch the wind change. Watch the animals start to head home or switch shifts and wake up for the evening. Look at the light as the shadows are long and it goes from a golden hour to magentas. Open your eyes, your ears, and even look for the scents that change.
- Leave the phone behind, I dare you. I know we all want to post our sunset photos, but what fun is it only seeing the sunset through your screen. Leave the phone behind. Hold onto the memory. Take a mental picture (The Office anyone?). For some reason, when the photo does not justify how it looked, I like the memory even better because then the memory was for me and you and all of us who stood right there and witnessed all of it.
- Stay after the sunsets. For me, the best part of the sunset is right after the sun goes down. Most people leave right after, but I always feel like the show is just getting started. The sky will no longer be golden, but will spin through its reel of colors. Don’t forget to even look in the opposite direction of the sunset (east). The sky seems to light up even more away from the sun.
- Look for the places that aren’t the norm. There are so many places that will be overrun with tourists. In San Diego, yes it is beautiful to watch a sunset from Sunset Cliffs, but I also know the I will fight for parking and a space on the edge. Instead, I find the places like the long trail on the edge of the harbor, the bow of my sailboat in my hammock. Find your place where you least expect it.
- Make time for it. Put it in your calendar. Make it a habit like a self care tidbit.
Being a live aboard in San Diego, you watch the sunrise and the sunset each day without the 4 walls of a traditional home distracting you from its view. Your rhythms line up with the oceans and the world. I find myself waking up before my alarm most days as the wind picks up and the boats begin to move more.
As I step outside to check out the new day, I see the sunrise peak its head over the hills and creeping around the angles of the high rises in downtown. I breathe in deeply and exhale any worries from the day before. At dawn comes the new day. I notice that the fish and the sea lions and the birds notice the newness in the air. The birds screech as they find food. The sea lions gasp for breathe as they surface and begin their morning fish hunt. The fish jump around as they avoid whatever is below trying to hunt them for breakfast.
I see that when the sunset comes, there seems to be a new stillness.The birds head home, the seas lions are heard less or are barking to other sea lions fighting over one last fish. We settle for the night as we eat our dinner outside. How often did we actually do that when living in a traditional home in the outdoors?
We thought we would only live this live aboard life for a year, but the more we settle in, the more we do not want it any other way.
love. simplicity. stillness. salt water. stopping. sunrise. sunset. rhythm. without distraction. breathe. notice. newness.
These and many other words are the words we think of when we describe this lifestyle. Sure, there have been some hiccups. Cloudy days where we ran low on solar, sudden rain falls where you scramble to close the hatch, dropping a lot of sunglasses in the water, rusty locks, mildew. But these become the things that also add to making this life so sweet. These are the things slowly making me a better person as those words above and these minor inconveniences shape my character more and more.
Find a sunset this week. Take a moment. Leave your phone in the car and skip the sunset picture. Instead look around and notice all the little changes as the world settles down for the night. Breathe in the air and notice the way you begin to slide into this rhythm as well.