This is why I love the sunrise--I need the reminder to be present. I need the reminder that this achingly beautiful event happens again and again, every day, without fail. It's effortless, and it reminds me that I really needn't try so very hard.
I always think of sunrise as a promise--a promise of what, I've no idea. But maybe it's more reassurance--you have made it through another night, and you're still here. You're still here to witness and if you're here to witness, then there's the possibility that you're here to love and to create and to find fulfillment and happiness in this day.
And if it doesn't happen today, well. There's another sunrise tomorrow.
I do honestly believe that rising before dawn is one of the rituals which has kept me sane, grounded, and equipped with reverence (never mind that that reverence is, from time to time, easily forgotten). Across traditions and geography and time, that hour or two before the sun rises is sacred, magical. There's an energy here few, relatively speaking, allow themselves access.
All it takes is earlier to bed and an internal alarm that, eventually, kicks in. Because, really, once you experience the community of the pre-dawn, who would want to miss it?
I keep thinking that, at some point, this whole life thing becomes easier. But I'm not so sure. Maybe it's like what we say about yoga--the practice doesn't get easier, you just get better at dealing with difficulty.
So this morning, in the dark of the pre-dawn, I'll listen to the bats chirp outside my window. I'll find gratitude in the later dawn and earlier sunsets. I'll remember that time passes because that is the nature of time and, in many ways, that is a blessing--and a teacher. I'll remember I've been alive for this many summers, and (hopefully) will be around at least this many more. I'll remember that somehow the bills always get paid these days, despite occasional discomfort and a bit of creative scrambling. I'll remember I have my books and my garden, the tides and the sunrise.
And I'll remember that tomorrow's sunrise might carry away with it, at long last, the reality of a good night's sleep.
Science about age and brains and sleep patterns aside, it's always been my habit to go to bed with the sun, rise with the sun. Even in college, when left to my own devices, it was such a joy to turn everything off at 7pm, in bed and sleeping by 8.
I don't know about the wealth bit, but I'd put what little I have on the health and wisdom pieces of the old adage. There's just something inherently healing about pure dark followed by birdsong.
As for the wisdom, well, I think I've finally decided to stop apologizing for my nature. There must be something in that.
I am not a romantic person, but I have lived in romance most of my life. What I mean—I am not interested in music and flowers, Empire State Building meetings, guitars and campfires for two. Mostly, that kind of thing makes me too aware of myself and the fragile nature of relationship.
But I do have, really, the same fragile relationship to landscape. Or maybe it’s more solid, since the land has no interest in winning my affections; it could care less whether it won me or lost me. No, the wooing is entirely on my end—a constant calling and hanging up, anonymous gifts at the door, a longing for…what? A note slipped to me during third period saying, 'yes, yes, your blood is from the salt of these coast-stones and your feet belong in seagrass.'
The truth is, I’m a New Englander and have been all my life. The deeper truth is that I’m a Mainer and have been since before I lived here. I have lived here in my ancestors (literally) and in my spirit (figuratively) since I was old enough to see a p...
I love the moment before dawn, the inhale when the earth is coldest, the beat before the cardinal begins singing about everything that happened between 8pm and 4am. It's a startling thing, this absolute trough of the day's cycle into the upswing of light and the activity of living.
There must be other moments like this call of the morning, other moments reminding us that transitions are startling, inevitable, and fierce.
It’s the softness we mistake, thinking we should tread lightly, feel our way slowly. But dawn is a violent, dazzling, timely transition.
We, too, can move with such fierce gravity.
We, too, can move the planet into action with grace, poise, breath, and light.
I like June. Since summer is runs a low number four on my favorite-seasons list, that's saying a lot. But I love the entire month--that limited dose of blousey, wild, green, pagan celebration. I love the solstice, because (and I freely admit this) it's a return to the darker part of the year.
June is a doorway, a borderland, and borders are my favorite places to perch--the edge of Maine's coast where the woods tumble directly into the sea with no shingle of beach, the first night of frost when the days are still warm enough to drop your jacket by noon, and the dawn, always the dawn.
June is like one big green-dawning, shoreline-perching, borderland celebration, and I'm all for it.