I watched the sun rise this morning.
I almost missed it. Turning away too soon.
The pressing matters in my head almost pushed out patience.
Having woken at my new favourite time of day 05:00, it was decided that a run down to the beach to watch the sun rise would be the best start to the day.
So after a 20 minute run, I found myself on the Beach boardwalk with night still over the skyline to the west, a couple of stars twinkling through some sparse clouds overhead and to the east a gradual display of yellows and pinks fading up over the lake.
I walked east towards where I thought the sun might rise.
There was a concentrated spot of intense almost ruby-red colour hovering on the lower horizon. For sure I thought, that is where the sun will be coming up.
So I walked to a place where I was surrounded by waves and rocks and sky. And I stood there and just stared at the sky.
The clouds lost their perspective as the sun hit the tops and bottoms, almost like playing with a photoshop filter, instantly transforming a static image.
And the beauty. It astonished me. That I had felt called from my bed so early on a Saturday morning where I was free to sleep in the comfort of my duvet, and to have had a desire to see something powerful and ancient, and that it was actually coming to pass in ways my imagination had failed to capture. That part of the experience alone was awe-inducing.
And then I started to think maybe that was enough, I should just head home. There's so much to do, and I've got such an early start I can get it all done. How long is it going to take for the actual sun to rise? Maybe I won't actually be able to see it because the clouds are starting to gather, and then I'll have wasted my time standing here, when I could be getting things done.
And then the colours intensified just a little. And I watched as the sky appeared to catch fire.
I'm glad I stayed.
And the colours and clouds continued to morph and increase in vibrancy and I realized that the best may be yet to come. Why turn away and miss something spectacular?
And I remained standing and waiting.
"Wow, this is so pretty. I think I can go now. I can catch the sun rise another time. I can just start walking and then turn around and check behind me to see if it's coming up. I don't need to stay here any longer. I've things to do...groceries, laundry..."
No. Stay. Finish what you start. Stop being pulled by things that don't matter.
And so I stayed again.
Resolved now to wait all morning just to see the damn orb so that I could shut up the nagging voices in my head, I stood a while longer.
And just before the next round of player-piano thoughts entered my head, a berry of light appeared on the horizon.
Like a stained glass jewel of light, a beacon, but more powerful than any man-made source of light. It appeared. And grew.
The actual sun, not just the effects of it, appeared. It rose rather quickly, but as it did it shone a direct line from the horizon, across the lake and to where I was standing.
This most ancient, most powerful, most crucial element for life was shining directly on me, giving birth to a new day and kissing my heart.
I felt so humbled and grateful and glad that I stayed. I did not shrink away from the sun, but it elicited tears from my being stunned at the sheer beauty of the experience.
And once it was firmly in the sky, everything seemed normal again. It was just the beginning, those couple of minutes when the sun first rises that one must make an effort to catch. So easily missed, and yet utterly transformative when felt.
The sun is still up in the sky now. Who knows what will transpire today under its watch?
But its taught me that to know where you're going, you need to know where you've started from.
To be open and patient and to control distractions are the lessons the sun taught me today. It seems only natural that by applying what I've learned, I can better navigate my way through the daytime with the expectation of feeling gratitude and happiness by the time the sun sets.