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Rated: E · Essay · Philosophy · #2160646
A philosophical questioning of a man's life as his sun sets
As a young man I read Hemingway’s book and also saw the movie based upon it. I loved the tale, who wouldn’t: heroic figures in a horrendous situation in war-torn Spain. Flawed guerrilla leaders in a desperate battle against overwhelming governmental forces and modern, for the times, warfare. Horses, rifles, brave men and women struggle against terrible odds.

Such situations bring out the best—and worst—in humankind. They cause the fracture of cultural norms. Strong women become leaders and flawed men, having become brittle from the strain, crack and fail, while others are tempered by the stress and perform acts of heroism and bravery…and all with a backdrop of rape, cruelty and earthshaking love.

Wow, makes me wish I’d written with such force and greatness but today, thinking on the title, other thoughts come to mind. While it is true that the sun rises, it also sets. From where I stand or, more often sit, I see the sun is well past it’s zenith and is lower down in the sky. My 75 year experiment in living, like the sun, is inexorably on its journey toward the horizon. Everything has its time…a time for planting, a time for sowing, a time for reaping and a time for die-ing.
Birth, life, death, the cycle continues. We may not like to think about the setting of our own life’s light, but it dims just the same. Seen through my veil of years the light is dimming, and in so doing brings forth many and varied emotions.

Questions with unknown answers flash through my thoughts: Was mine a good life? Did I do all I could? Was I a good, average, or bad man? Was I a success as a man, father, husband, worker, member of society? How will I be remembered…will I be remembered? What legacy do I leave behind? Did my life make a difference? Do I, should I, care? What happens next, if anything? What do I do with my remaining time? It all sounds so ominous.

How many years are remaining? All of them, of course! Whether two or twenty, the years ahead are what I am allotted. How I live them may help determine how many there are, and their quality.
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