This past labor day, I made my annual trek with a girlfriend to a remote rock, 10 miles off the coast of southern New Hampshire, called Star Island. Every year we go out for a weekend of rest, friendship, and spiritual renewal.

And every year brings some gift of natural wonder. One year it was a spectacular sunrise. Another year, there were monarch butterflies all over the island. Last year it was the lull of the wild stormy ocean that seemed most mesmerizing. And this year, it was the sunset. Two panoramic sunsets.

Several people who had been on the island all week said that the recent sunsets had been unremarkable. But our two evenings on the island were amazing – whether it was the temperature, the cloud formations, the full moon rising, who knows, but conditions were just right. Incandescent colors fanned out from north to south, blazing above the mainland in the distance. While the colors changed from deep amber to vivid orange to bright red to faint pink, many of us sat on the wide porch of our rustic Victorian hotel . . . silently . . . . taking in the spectacle.

What a dramatic tribute to the end of summer,” I thought. Sometimes it feels sad to watch another summer slip away – a season of barbeques, swimming, cricket sounds, children playing into the night, camping. But this natural ending to a September day was unapologetic in its majesty . . . no whimpering melancholy, no tearful remorse. Just a beautiful “The End.”

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