Sunsets in Canggu

Sara Shah

(Europe, UK, US)

An expat friend of mine in Canggu would always tell any visitors he had heard that the forecast said there would be a beautiful sunset that evening. His visiting friends would always come ready for a show, and the orange painted sky would never disappoint.

Many days after working, I would meet friends for sunset by the beach. It became a time to meet up— the sunset becoming an hour in my day— a way to mark the closing of a cycle.  It is not often in big cities like New York that we are able to go to the coast to watch a sunset. In New York City you may see glimpses of the sun leaving, and the moon arriving through the giant buildings surrounding you, but only if you are lucky.

Being in Bali, you learn that this is no way to experience a sunset. Instead you sit with your feet in the sand, and a kelapa muda in your hand; as the sky changes from day to dusk, everything seems perfect. Ocean waves come and go, and you learn the sun leaves much faster than you ever expected it to.

We run through life, and the sun runs too, but we often don’t notice it moving through the sky. Nothing stops, and everything moves forward much faster than you think, witnessing a sunset day after day you learn the beauty of this life is in its finiteness. Days end, and so do journeys, and relationships, and even the lives of loved ones.

Nothing in this world matters at the end of the day, except for having tried your best, and having been as present as possible. Back home presence is lost, as we rush and hustle to pay for mortgages and material goods, the sun keeps setting and our own ending edges near and year.

 I stopped rushing to the sunsets, and I simply started showing up for them. The sun marks a border between days and even journeys. The Canngu sun invited me back to the journey of my life, and I vowed to rest in what I had left with joy.

Sara Shah

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Sara Shah is a travel memoirist and poet. She writes of her adventures around the world as a woman travelling on her own. Her journeys and writings take place on both internal and external planes.