Sunsets had become such a cinema cliche that cinematographers became super careful about how and when they use them, but for all of us, sunsets are a symbol of endings.

In this particular case, this was the ending of my old friends’ trip to come visit me in Tokyo. It was a fantastic trip, notable for our ridiculous luck with the weather in Hakone. After hanging out with our pals the lemurs, we handed off our panda tickets to some people who would use them, and we had a coffee before they got on the train and headed to spend their last night in Japan next to the airport. I turned and took one last walk past the lake in Ueno Park before going back home myself.

This particular sunset was the ending of that trip. But it’s a good time to remember that the sunset was not an end, but a moment in a trip. The sun was at that moment racing toward Chicago, toward home for my friends, (and still for me. Chicago will always be home). The sunset is not an ending, just a moment in a cycle. The sun will come back around in the morning, and I’m sure my good friends and I will come back together. It’s a cycle we’ve been doing for 20 years at this point, and I don’t think they could get away from me if they tried at this point.

And that’s a good thing to remember. Enjoy the sunsets, because they’re not an end, they’re a transition, exactly like every moment is. It’s just that the sunsets are the transitions you can point to and recognize. There are too many transitions you miss because they happen so fast. I’m still trying to figure out how my baby niece is old enough to be looking at colleges.

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