When Sunset Comes Early

These days! Even here on Hilton Head Island, we never saw anything like them before. Oh yes, every year we watch the sun set over our western horizon a little earlier each day as winter approaches. Because our lovely planet is a little bit tilted, that sunset seems to sneak south as the year draws to a close, setting behind the tip of Daufuskie Island by around Thanksgiving. But never in the half-century since the lighthouse was completed, nor in the 30-plus years since that we’ve welcomed guests to our Shoppe at the Top and the viewing gallery that surrounds it have we seen a year in which the inspiration people find here was more needed than today.

It Comes with the Job

As a symbol of navigation, of finding your bearings and charting your course, the Harbour Town Lighthouse and our team here have seen all kinds of journeys. That privilege comes with the job. With our vast variety of visitors over the years, the stories told here take in as big a panorama of human experience as the unforgettable view from the top of the Lighthouse. We love getting acquainted, and our guests make the Lighthouse a treasure chest of life and its stories.

People get married here. Even more often, they get engaged. More often still than that they make this and other life decisions from a new perspective because everything seems to look a little different from the Harbour Town Lighthouse, for people who pay attention. Men and women decide to build a business of their own, choose a different career, or commit to making Hilton Head Island their full-time home – and these are just a few examples. The feeling people get from the beauty here seems right for turning over a new leaf, or for turning the page to a new chapter.

To Welcome the New Chapter

For almost a month now, after the winter solstice, the shortest sunlight of the year – on the Monday before Christmas this time – each day has begun maybe a minute earlier, and the sun has set just a tiny bit later, too. The expanding sunlight comes so gradually that most folks don’t notice.

We thought we would point it out because it says something special this particular year. Every day we are getting a little more sunlight. Just as every day our progress in putting 2020 behind us grows and expands. There is much we will be glad to leave behind. At the same time, there are things we have gained that would be a good idea to hold onto.

Grateful for the Everyday

A lot of our guests tell us that 2020 helped them see the importance of the everyday things we once took for granted. Getting together with friends. Going to a movie and sharing popcorn. Things we never noticed much until we couldn’t do them.

The gratitude that comes with working our way toward having those everyday things back in our lives – that’s the thing we would most like to keep from last year. And even though the mid-winter sunset still seems to come awfully early, we know our days are getting a little brighter all the time now, and we are grateful.