When most people hear or use this idiom, I suspect they think of fading light and how it reflects fading life. I can see that and have read and enjoyed some beautiful poetry which reflect those thoughts. I can also see that at sunset we may reflect on the day that has passed, and so sunset years could be a time for reflection. But if we take that approach then we risk ‘Sunset Years’ becoming more of an euphemism than idiom.
I want it to remain an idiom, because sunsets can be the most glorious part of the day.
I’m sure some births were as beautiful as some sunrises, and our day to day lives can be as grey as a wet November day in England or as stunning as a sunny day in California. The sun and its phases clearly are a wonderful way to reflect our lives. I guess therefore what I’m hoping if you have read this far, is that next time you hear or use the phrase ‘Sunset Years’ or see a residential home called Sunset, that you will think differently.
I’m hoping you will remember all the glorious sunsets you have seen and then remember that the final year, or couple or 10 can also be the most wonderful. They don’t have to be peaceful and calm, they can be vibrant and in full technicolour.