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Sunrise or sunset?

Paul E. AnnaAspen, CO Colorado

Are you a sunrise or a sunset person?I pose the question because from my perch high above the incomparable Hanalei Bay (yes, the one where Puff the Magic Dragon makes his home), I have been witness to some of the most inspiring sunrises and some of the most beautiful sunsets that have ever graced God’s green planet. Yes, I know they are nothing special by local standards; this bay has seen the curtain go up and down on each day with magnificence like this since long before man, and certainly before they built this tall corner of the Princeville Resort.But, still, I swear, it seems like both the sunrise and sunset have been extra extraordinary during my too brief stay. I humor myself into believing that they have been upgraded for my visit.Today began with a heavy shower at dawn. The layout: A yellow sun rises out of the ocean, peaks out over the mountains and rises through the clouds in the eastern sky. Dark, dark skies drop a fierce rain straight overhead. Out in the bay, a vivid rainbow begins to form that stretches out from Hanalei town, past the waves breaking on the reef, and extends further out into the open sea. A perfect crescent of red, yellow and blue. Beyond, are the lush hills of green, catching the diffused light of dawn in their crags and crevasses.The same bay is the stage for each day’s second dramatic act. I try to be in the warm waters when that performance comes around, as there is a tendency for the sea to glass off and the waves, just before the sun sinks, always seem to pop up for a final tribute. This is a place where people come down to catch the sunset and so, under the palms and pines that line the beach near Hanalei Bay, you’ll find dozens of cars, as mostly locals but also a few tourists, turn out for sunset. They’ll drive on the hard sand and park their cars backward so they can catch the vista from the old pier, out along the coastline to the famed Bali Hai rocky outcrop. The sun sinks, ever so slowly, until it reaches the horizon line at water’s edge and then the whole world seems to speed up its turning as it swallows the orange ball. Everyone watches to see if there will be a green flash, something I’ve yet to witness.Just as the sun disappears there is, invariably, a sudden gust of warm wind as if the sun is giving the day a final breath of life before bed. It is my favorite moment.So again I ask, are you a sunrise or a sunset person? Because in the world I currently reside I simply can’t decide.


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