Sunrise, Sunset…

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears”
–Fiddler on The Roof

These lyrics came to mind today as I sat on the porch and thought about all the changes my family managed this year. Life as an empty nester is finally sinking in as there are no dishes in the sink, or crumbs on the floor and the cats are looking to me for food.

  It has been a year of both sunrises and sunsets for us. We celebrated a graduation and both kids are reaching new levels of independence. Yet, we also loss of both of our mothers and I felt it was best I retired.

These events force me to acknowledge how precious time really is. I have an ever-evolving perspective as I consider how to spend the rest (and optimistically, the best) of my life.

There are a few writing projects I want to pursue. I have a huge collection of books unread. I hope to become a better photographer too!  Yet, as much as I desire to do these things, I am no longer preoccupied obsessed with them. I’m trusting God that I’ll get around to them, eventually…

I want to live, not just exist,
I long to thrive and feel the bliss
to live by faith, not out of fear,
With time to cherish all who are dear;

With each sunrise, I seek to see
And do the work God has for me
May each sunset find me content
The time I spend, God finds well spent

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. Lilke, what a lovely person your parents gifted to our world. I remember seeing your mother at FAMU in 1965, and I knew your brilliant father. I have seen your photography and it is mesmerizing. Thank you for sharing it


  2. While my only child is living at home and going to college online and working (you know her health stops so much sadly), I still feel that “empty nest” a bit. No more homeschooling or driving her every time to her destinations. I feel for you as this is a big change, my friend; one that I’m not sure I would handle even a fraction as well as you are. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trust me, I have my moments but I’m more so grateful we have gotten this far Heather. I’m used to my schedule revolving around the boys and that is gone now. It feels strange but I’m trying to “follow the cloud” and keep it moving in a positive direction. So many changes this year! It has been mentally and spiritually challenging but God is faithful and patient.

      Take care on your end. I don’t think it is so much the physical absence than the independence on our children’s part and being told rather than asked about their plans.
      I was very close to my mom they way the two of you are. Each situation is different. Sometimes kids don’t leave abruptly but in baby steps (like I did, I lived at home 4/5 years I was in college). Had I gone off to school (stayed local) I think both me and my mom would have been miserable! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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