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Sixty-Something: Those Amazing Powerful After Sunset Hamptons Skies

T.J. Clemente

I often think the sunset sky is where the souls of all who have ever lived congregate. (Photo: TJ Clemente)

There is nothing more beautiful, powerful and dramatic than a Hamptons summer sky just after sunset. The bright yellows, oranges and pink colors along with a whole array of blues converge on the clouds with the natural patterns of that night's air flows way up in sky. I think the sky seems larger in the Hamptons as it just rolls on forever over the ocean and across to the North Fork.

Almost everyone who lives out east can tell of one particular night's sky they experienced and rarely is it the same night. Everyone has their favorite spot to just watch those last flickers of fading sunlight when the sky is too amazing not to just stare at it, sometimes for twenty minutes sipping a glass of wine or clutching a cold beer.

There are those famous places that people go to. Whether it's Louse Point or Maidstone Park, or the deck of Moby's, or the bar at Harbor Bistro. Then there are the steps up to Bostwick's at 3 Mile Harbor and of course Shelter Island's Sunset Beach Bar is also favorite location, along with the Coast Grill on the west side of Noyac Road. No list is complete without mentioning the world famous Montauket where they actually applaud after the sunsets each night. Somehow a sunset is very special almost every summer night, however usually the sky that follows is even more dramatic.

Yes, there are some rainy grey nights too but even in those nights there is the menacing darkness of noted artist, El Greco's "View of Toledo" quality. However most nights the sun performs some sort of trick as it passes out of the sight after its final flickering moments. The colors, the cloud patterns and height are never the same but almost always as beautiful.

In those moments one can almost feel the souls of loved ones past and tender memories with them. I often think the sunset sky is where the souls of all who have ever lived congregate. There is an energy I feel that is very religious to this very non-religious person.

You really can't share the personal emotion of a sunset but just share the experience of viewing it. I have watched all conversation stop and observed everyone just quietly watching the sun sink below the horizon as the colors start to form and fill the clouds across the whole sky. It is a wonder of the world that ends every day with the beginning of every night, a ritual that has gone on as long as there have been worlds with skies.

It was a shame when I was tucked in an office for many decades and never saw this phenomenon like I can now as a sixty-something retired sailing enthusiast. By chance my wife's home office has two windows facing west and she's experiences the post sunset sky, sometimes while on the phone. I suppose there are others with such offices or rooms in their homes. I believe they will all agree how beautiful these moments are.

Finally, the colors all begin to fade and slowly, the stars and moon begin to dominate the sky. I always feel the end of the sunlit part of the day with a sadness. I know that day is gone. I know there are only so many days in any lifetime and as time passes by, I have fewer days left.

The post sunset sky writes poetry in colors instead of words. It writes in a language everybody understands. It touches our souls. I have been around to many places and yes Arizona has amazing summer nights, as does northern western Canada with the skies burning red until 11 p.m. However, the skies over the East End of Long Island with the ocean moisture and the forever horizon has a unique magic. Many people say the Hamptons are special and I believe the post sunset sky is just one of many reason that statement is true.

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