I haven't lived here long enough to know if this is a New Year's Eve tradition, but many Tarpon Springs residents gathered at Sunset Beach City Park to watch the final sunset of 2012. New Year's Eve is always a mixed bag of emotions, a time for both remembering the past and planning the future.
The gathering on Sunset Beach was filled with the promise of tomorrow, the new year racing by, the laughter of children. A pair of newly weds walked hand in hand along the shore, silhouettes on the beach, whispering to each other, and occasionally stopping to share a kiss or just lean close and stare out over Saint Joseph Sound. Older couples sat together holding hands, talking in low voices that blended with the murmur of the wind. Children laughed and played, oblivious to grown up thoughts.
At the end of 2012 the sun was oblivious too. It dipped lower on the horizon, touched the sea, stained the turquoise waters with liquid blood that rippled toward the shore. The last day, its color and light fading, cast shadows on the people gathered to say good-bye. On the shore the hearts spilled into hands applauding...gold, orange, pink, red, violet, lavender, turquoise, blue, splattered, spread, and poured into designs never seen before in that exact combination. Just a sunset in Tarpon Springs, the last sunset of 2012.