On Catching the Sunset

If you’ve read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, you know that the climax of the book is her dashing off from dinner and dishes to run through a field and take a picture of the moon. It’s a glorious moment, and every member of my family who has read it told me that the scene reminded them of me.

I spent the Fourth of July in Nebraska, and if there’s one thing Nebraska does better than anywhere else, it’s sunsets. Something about how all the dust in the air reflects the light.

I wrote this and realized it how similar it was to Voskamp’s moment when I was typing it up:




“This is a silver bullet,” she said as I ran to catch the sunset.

The sky was glorious in pink and orange and I wasn’t wearing shoes as my feet sprung from the pavement, legs feeling long.

I thought vaguely of werewolves and The Lone Ranger and wondered if they were playing make-believe. But I could see the tips of clouds like gold and like brighter than gold and I don’t know if there’s a word for that.

One more building, and I would see it. The road ended, and then there was gravel and my feet felt the little stabs from it. But I could almost see gold and something brighter than gold.

A burr caught in my foot, and I was still thinking of the Lone Ranger and silver bullets. My lungs hurt.

And then I was there. And it was ecstasy. And I wished I could stay and see exactly how all the colors turn to gold and brighter than gold.

I snapped a picture that would never catch the frame, the exuberance, the brilliance.

I walked back past the girls on the sidewalk, the bottoms of my feet stinging from burrs and gravel.

They were arranging fireworks.


my Nebraska sunset

My Nebraska sunset


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