I have never been the kind of person who raves about sunrises. I always figured if I missed the one today I could catch the next one. There are quotes and sayings about the light coming after a long dark night. Or each day is a new beginning. In theory, I love sunrises as much as anyone, but I never actively sought one out.
My apartment faces the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains and I could have the chance to view every sunrise right from my living room, but I never took the time until today. I have been under the weather lately and stressing about an upcoming move, so my mind has been in full self-indulgent mode. Last night was the first night in a while that I slept without horrible coughing.
I woke up very happy that I was feeling better and started my usual morning routines: sent a few texts, checked balances, etc. Then I looked out the front door, which is mostly glass and I saw it. I watched, mesmerized, as this incredibly bright orb made its way from behind the fall-colored Mountains. Each movement created more outstretched rays of light until the sun was fully in sight and surrounded by beams of light. It brought with it a sudden warmth to ease the cold night away.
It was stunning. I cannot believe that in the year and a half I have been here, this is the first one I have consciously noticed. I am usually running around doing something I feel is extremely important or something of no importance at all. I never took the few minutes to just look out the front door. I don’t even have to go anywhere, it comes to me. Every single morning.
So I thought I was finally getting wise in my old age, thought I was starting to understand things. Then I see a sunrise and I realize that I still have a long way to go. If I run around being busy (legitimately busy or fake busy) all the time, and I do not pause for a moment or two to just enjoy life’s beauty, then I haven’t actually learned a thing. This morning I unintentionally looked up from my iPad to witness a miracle that happens every single day. A miracle that I have taken for granted over 20,000 times.
I have squandered my time in one of God’s most beautiful places. Amazing tree-lined Mountains, glorious clear running rivers, fresh crisp air and, yes, daily sunrises and sunsets are the norm here. I hiked once or twice. I looked at the beauty from inside a moving train car without fully allowing myself to drink it all in. If I had to guess what lesson was learned today, I would have to say that I need to stop a little more often and enjoy the surroundings. I always figured I had to be a outdoor person to enjoy this splendor but that’s not true. To be a human being means we have the ability to be conscious of the beauty around us. We have the ability to formulate thoughts and emotions about things we see and feel.
I need to become more present, more aware, of those things around me that are beautiful. Many of the images and things we see today are ugly interpretations of hate, war, violence and greed. It is easy to want to retreat into one’s shell and never look outside it. But if you do that, you end up missing the beauty. I realize that not every place is the place I am at now. God brought me here so that I could see a place of peace and tranquility. As I plan to leave this place I realize that I missed it much of the time I was here but I plan on drinking in its beauty while I’m still here. And, hopefully, not miss all the future sunrises.
It just goes to prove that something that happens every day can still be wonderous.