Here I stand, silently and still, watching a sunrise, seeing the night slowly and surely—head over heels, eventually—fall in love with the day.
Dawn goes beyond the sense of sight. A glorious sunrise is something one feels. We can wrap our souls around them. They are a wordless prayer in the sky—and its wordless answer.
Wintertime reveals them at their most transcendent. So much of the horizon is visible through the limbs of the leafless trees. The dark maple and oak silhouettes actually enhance the painting that is being brush-stroked before our eyes. The contrast makes the blossoming colors really “pop.”
The experience is very much like watching a painter produce a masterpiece. The rising sun and the breeze-blown clouds and jet trails provide constant movement. The colors continuously journey through the spectrum, an ebb and flow of blues, pinks, purples, violets, oranges and everything in between. Then, finally, that day’s painting is done.
Interestingly, no sunrise is ever finished until it is gone, which makes it a little bit like our own lives. A single day left in our life becomes, in effect, a lifetime and anything is still possible. Even a new thought or a deeper understanding of one’s life. No sunrise is without meaning.
Clouds are essential to any truly spectacular sunrise. They provide a canvas upon which the rising light can fully express itself. That also resembles our own lives. The “clouds” that cross our path may block out the “sunshine” entirely—for a time. If looked at philosophically, however, they make life’s sun and blue sky really “pop” when we see them next. We appreciate far more deeply the joys—the people and things—that illuminate our lives.
Sunsets offer transcendent moments, too. They are the perfect mate for sunrise. Later today I will stand, silently and still, watching the sunset tell the dawn, “Yeah, it was love at first sight for me, too.”
There is no better way to begin or end a day. In both the rising and the setting of the sun we can sense the presence of a loving God. An all-embracing love that is given without conditions or limits. A love that neither rises nor sets. A love that is simply always here for us. Right now.