Daily. Quotidian. Every day. Diurnal. Day-to-day.
How can a person be exposed to something every morning of their lives and pay so little attention to it? In my lifetime, I’ve had opportunity to witness over 24,000 sunrises. Not that I’ve seen that many. Only a few are truly memorable.
Those years when sleeping late was a priority should not be counted. I used to say, “I didn’t even know there was a 4:30 a.m.” Shoot, I didn’t even know there was a 6 a.m. for half my life.
Then twenty years ago, I got a job that required me to be there, ready to work, at 7 a.m. I had to leave my house by 6:10 or 6:15 for the commute. During the winter months I drove in the dark and arrived before dawn. So I must have seen a lot of great sunrises, right? Well, I drove westward in the mornings, and the sun came up in the rearview mirror. My focus was straight ahead. I usually missed the beauty behind my back.
Retirement is changing my focus in so many ways. I have the time to look around and notice what’s been there all this time.
After years of early rising, I still tend to wake up before daybreak. For the past few months I’ve become aware that the sun also comes up every day. That may sound stupid, but we don’t notice what we don’t notice. Besides, I’m usually inside at that time of morning.
Recently I’ve become infatuated with getting photos of the breaking dawn. I just can’t get a good snapshot of it from our back deck. Sometimes I catch some color by standing the middle of the street in front of our house. It’s a one block cul-de-sac, so it’s okay to do that.
But usually, I drive to a place where there is either a little higher terrain or a field that stretches out to the east enough to provide some perspective. Our area has an abundance of towering oaks and pine trees. The horizon isn’t visible. I have to drive down to the beach to find a vista like that.
Besides searching out good elevations near me, I’m also trying to learn about conditions that make a spectacular sunrise. You know, “Red sky at morning.” Still, there’s mystery in all this beauty.
Today’s blog title is a nod to Hemingway, but he got it from Ecclesiastes.
The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose. Ecclesiastes 1:5 (NKJV)
Life changes, but the set natural order of God does not. Surface events change, but ancient rhythm and rhyme still run underneath it all. So much goes unnoticed. When we are stuck in survival mode, we miss the obvious, even when it’s right there in front of us – or in our rearview mirror.
These days, I’m trying to capture what I can. I want to really see it. I want to share it.
To see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly. Day by day.