It’s a thing at Sewanee.
On the domain capped by the University of the South, there are overlooks with fancy names.
And the Memorial Cross.
And at St. Mary’s, the panoramic viewscape is the perfect starting point for a pause.
We planned our day to end with the sunset at St. Mary’s. After some silliness on the cliff, with a sense of urgency, my daughter prodded me to get in the car.
“No sunset goes uncelebrated at Sewanee,” she said. She drove us to the cross first.
In the fast-seeping darkness, I spied the landmark in silhouette outlined in the vivid colors the sun paints the winter sky.
She idled for a moment to let me out with the Nikon.
By the time I captured too many images, she was shaking her head.
I didn’t play by her rules. The goal is to see as many as you can in the short span of time before the sun winks out over the edge of the plateau.
I told her about a collage of sunsets taped to the wall in a room in a Montgomery, Alabama nursing home. The granddaughter had never heard the story about her grandmother’s collection. She was only 18 months old when she died.
“Bring me back a sunset,” Phyllis would say.
Bound by her disability for 30 years, there were no vacations or weekend getaways to beaches, cruise ships or mountain cabins.
She counted on others to notice the colors, make the photograph and deliver it to her.
And so the collection grew. Expanding ever outward in a kaleidoscope of colors shining from across the globe.
It’s a thing a Sewanee.
And like her grandmother, my gal realizes the importance of spending time with the setting sun. And to mark the passing of a day with a nod of gratitude.
My mother in her quests for sunsets reminded others to make it a habit to pause. Embedded in the request was a nudge to slow down.
She would love the holy mountain.
And be so proud of the legacy she inspired.
The collector of images.
The explorer on a mission to catch as many moments as she can.