Being in the Present – Rainbows, Ocean Sunset and Sunrise – Picture to Ponder v5-issue 32

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 1, 2009

On Saturday afternoon we had one of our typical Florida afternoon heavy thunder and lightning rainstorms. Toward the end, when I looked out and noticed the sudden brilliant sunlight, I had the immediate thought that there might be a beautiful rainbow. Looking out my front door I saw that I was right.

I grabbed my camera, and since it was still drizzling, a plastic bag to cover it, and a large umbrella; then took a couple of pictures from underneath the latter, one of which I’ve posted on FlickR. I then pulled my car out of the garage, jumped in and started singing, “I’m forever chasing rainbows,” as I went on a search for some even “better” shots.

I ultimately ended up at the beach, too late for the rainbow there but did see a beautiful sunset. I was reminded that it had also been quite a while since I had experienced sunrise on the beach. With all these “signs” I did go back on Sunday morning. Today’s featured photographs are from that outing.

The top photo is a reflection of clouds and sky in the sunglasses hanging on a man’s shirt. It caught my attention as he and his family were walking toward me.

The center photo was taken five minutes before the actual rise of the sun over the horizon, camouflaged by the clouds. Note the richness of the pinks and yellows emanating upward from the sun that had not yet “risen.”

The bottom photograph was taken sixteen minutes after the “official” sunrise. Here we can almost see the sun behind the clouds. I love the reach of the bronze reflections on the surf at the edge of the beach (lower right).

For those who are left wanting to more fully experience the gentle waves lapping against the shore, I uploaded a short video onto YouTube. This was taken a couple of minutes after sunrise. Having come from New Jersey where waves were usually high, it always amazed me when I visited Florida in the summer, years ago, to see how calm and almost waveless the ocean was. Living down here now I’ve learned that this is somewhat seasonal and, of course, bad weather and heavy winds make a difference.

(For those who might be wondering, the sunrise times were found on my favorite sunrise/sunset – moonrise/moonset calendar at

Today’s photographs and stories reflect, in part, “chasing” “something more,” from rainbows to sunrises. With the rainbow, I was looking for a “perfect” unobstructed view of the full rainbow, which I would have had at the ocean.

Only, I was afraid that it would not be there by the time I reached the beach, so I stopped along the way and photographed pieces of it, obscured by wires and other distracting components. In fact, according to other walkers, had I gone straight to be beach, I would have seen what I wanted.

I did spend some time enjoying the sunset and, as I wrote above, decided to go for the sunrise the next day. The sky was beautiful when I got there, about ten minutes before the full rising of the sun. Once there I realized that I “undoubtedly” “missed” the most beautiful part, that visible when the sky was still almost dark.

I am relating all of this mind “chatter”, not because any of it’s “true”; rather, these thoughts are examples of what most of us do to ourselves during large portions of our time – the “would have”, “could have”, “should haves.”

Once open to the flip side, on Saturday night, for me, was the conversation with a woman walking along the water’s edge who shared her experiences of earlier in the evening and then those of the sunrises she usually saw. It was this that had me set my alarm on Sunday.

Then there was the fun and excitement of the discovery of the reflections in the sunglasses and the conversation with the man and his family and their pleasures in that imagery.

Lastly, the rainbow experience wound up having an impact on my selection of a quote prompt in my writing group, winding up as a Writing for Healing blog post – “Rainbow Soul and Tears – Storms in Life.”

We have choices, always… to be in the moment, fully appreciating what’s there, or looking ahead or behind.

I invite you to spend some time in the next day or so, perhaps beyond. Are there places and situations where routinely you are looking far ahead or in the past, missing what’s in the present? If so, perhaps specific intention is missing. Do you always know what it is you are looking for?

Can you set an intention to experience beauty in the moment, declaring whatever is, as beautiful or purposeful?

As always, remember to have fun with this.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Debii September 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Of course, here on the West Coast, we get the sunsets. The bottom pic reminds me of the sunset we saw tonight while beachside dining at the Sandbar on Anna Maria Island. I had taken my new camera along to see if I could get any sunset pics, but not the best show of the sun tonight. I have been playing around with this gadget, discovering its possibilities and limitations. Surely, just a starter camera, if I decide to get more involved. I mostly got it so I could take pics of my hand-made tote bags I want to post online to sell – but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Mike (hubs) and I re-discovered the beach today. With this camera I can’t really take outdoor pics in bright light as I can’t see anything on the screen so I’m just randomly shooting. Next time we take an umbrella to see if that will help.
Thanks for your beautiful pics, Sheila!!


Sheila Finkelstein September 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Grinning, Debii I’m thinking you must have sunrises also on the West Coast of Florida, if you have sunsets. Just playing with you. I realize that you’re talking about “over water.” I am fortunate as you know, to have Green Cay and Wakodahatchee Wetlands close by so I can also get sunsets over water.

Sounds like you’re having fun with your new camera. Can’t wait to see some of your pictures of naure, as well as your hand-made tote bags.

Have you used FlickR, at all, for posting photos? If not and you want my PDF for How to Use FlickR, send me an email.

Continued fun and you’re most welcome for the pictures. I appreciate your acknowledgment.


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