There’s that lull between the sun sinking and the glow of the sunset that’s filled with anticipation of the majesty about to fill the sky. It’s when the sky goes pale and a brightness slowly lights behind the clouds and you just know it’s gonna be glorious. I raced across town as the sun was sinking, barely waiting for stop signs or stop lights to change in high expectation that this particular sunset would be breathtaking. I parked hurriedly and walked as fast as I could (right after and intense leg-day workout mind you). I worried that the bench I had in mind would be taken by the couple slightly ahead of me but my legs wobbled too much to pass them so I held my breath as they paused ever so slightly before moving on. With relief I collapsed onto my chosen bench and the sun had already sunk into the sea and the whole world was wrapped in its gold leaf splendor. I said “all that for this!” to myself and then I waited for the slow burn to ignite the clouds and the sky and the water. Flocks of gulls swooped in the wind and pressed against the breeze. Flags were flapping and sailboat rigging clanked and a lone heron bid me a good evening as I sat there on my bench watching and waiting in eager anticipation. The tide rolled into the harbor. Whitecaps dashed and splashed in the sea. Golden light lingered behind dark ominous clouds filled to the brim with raindrops as they raced across the illusion of the sea in the sky. As it darkened, clouds appeared as billowing waves and Orcas island seemed to mimic its namesake, in the sea in the sky. Tints of palest pink then apricot then yellow then began to watercolor the sky, the clouds, and the sea in subtle hues. Sometimes the things we imagine or anticipate or dream of or hope for or pray for don’t become the blazing spectacular sunset– instead, they are more tender or subtle or precious, or even more what we need than we imagined, but no less splendid or majestic or miraculous.