My last trip out for the sunset had me on the opposite side of the beach from where I normally go. It was high tide, and the shore birds were scarce on ‘my’ side, so I checked the other side and was happy to see them there. As I was looking at the various birds, looking for different ones to photograph, an older man nearby commented about the birds. He had never seen so many, he said. He was here in Florida and none of his family could believe he was here so he wanted to take a picture. He had been sick, he said, but two weeks in Florida had fixed him right up. He seemed quite pleased. But not with his photos. He wanted to take pictures that would show the birds and the sunset, but I told him that as long as the sunset was behind the birds you would only see them in silhouette. He understood what I meant immediately and moved up the beach to take more pictures. When he came back he was excited to show me his photo, and held up his little old phone, which was ‘repaired’ with scotch tape on the corner. But it took a decent enough photo, with the birds highlighted by the sunset. He happily wandered away, saying that he was going to send it to his daughter.
I know I really go out for the sunset to take pictures of my own, but these sorts of little exchanges with strangers are equally important to me. I’m thankful for the human spirit that allows us to connect with each other, if only for a moment. I hope you have many reasons to be thankful also.