Author’s Note: Welcome back to Hillsboro@20, a weekly recount of my thoughts and
experiences as a 20-year-old living in Hillsboro, OR. Following a week-long hiatus, in this fourth
installment, I highlight the contrast between sunrises and sunsets. Enjoy the read.
Day or night?
Dawn or dusk?
Sunrise or sunset?
Based entirely on preference, these opposites can often reveal much of a person’s
personality. While seemingly similar, sunrises and sunsets are very distinct as a result of their
different corresponding time, mood and environment.
First of all, a rising sun signifies the beginning of a new day. A time for opportunity. As
dark transitions to light, viewers foresee a window to act on their potential. Conversely, a setting
sun serves as the day’s finale. A time for rest. The light of the day becomes engulfed by the dark
of the night, as people anticipate their coming sleep.
I also find there to be a different mood associated with each. I appreciate the serenity of
sunrises. With most people asleep at that time, the surrounding area is oftentimes quieter. I
usually feel more independent as a result. During sunsets, on the other hand, the community
collectively winds down. Feelings of gratitude and relaxation usually arise in me. I enjoy
reflecting on the day and easing my thoughts at the sight.
Finally, interestingly enough, the condition of the atmosphere also varies between the
two, resulting in different appearances. By dawn, the sky has been cleansed from pollution and
wind-borne particles in the hours of the night before. During that time, smog-producing urban
activity and winds diminish. The consequent clear skies result in vivid red and orange hues during sunrise.
On the contrary, the thicker, polluted atmosphere during dusk causes these colors
to be dulled and scattered across a greater region of the sky as the sun sets.
While both are beautiful natural phenomena, sunrises and sunsets are uniquely distinct in
their ambiance and appearance.
So, I ask you, sunrise or sunset?