How many sunrises?

How many sunrises?
The last sunrise of 2012.

As soon as 2013 hit, I’d taken to a new hobby: photographing sunrises with my phone.

It started with New Year’s Eve, first thing in the morning. I was up just long enough to feed the cats, but I took my phone downstairs with me. The last sunrise of the year was waiting for me. I snapped a photo, fed the cats, then went about my day. The following day, the exact same thing happened: I woke up, fed the cats, and saw the sun rising, so I snapped a photo. The first sunrise of the new year.

A sunrise is a reminder that we’re living to see another day–a privilege, not a right. We might not necessarily get to see tomorrow’s sunrise. I look at them, myself, to remind myself that above all else, I’m alive, and that’s all that matters.

I catch myself complaining a lot. In fact, I’m really bad for it. I know I have no reason to complain about anything, but I do it anyway. Instead of beating myself up for it, since that will only cause more negativity, I’ve been trying to divert my energy to something positive.

The first sunrise of 2013.

The other day, I was walking to the bus stop on my work, feeling grumpy and rushed and thinking of trivial things that didn’t really matter. As I was walking, I turned to see the sun just hovering over the horizon, casting a pale golden light on the ground below. The ice-coated snow reflected the light back, like a frozen mirror. The sight was breathtaking. I glanced at it distractedly, thinking to myself that I didn’t have time to stop and look, and that I’d miss my bus. I hesitated on that thought. Was that really the worst thing that could happen if I stopped to look at this sunrise? I set aside my petty problem for the time being. If I died that day, I didn’t want my only regret to be that I didn’t look at the sunrise long enough.

These thoughts may seem a touch morbid to anyone else, but to me, it’s a reminder that I have so much to be thankful for. If my biggest concern is missing a bus because I stopped to look at a sunrise a little too long, I really don’t have many problems. So, I stopped to look at the sunrise for those who aren’t able to–for those who don’t have the same kind of freedom I have, and for those who have bigger things to worry about, like whether they’ll be able to eat tomorrow. And also, to remind myself that I am in control of my life, because too often do I say I “can’t” do something, when in reality, I simply won’t.

The sunrise photos are, I suppose, a bit of a personal project. When I sleep through a sunrise, I take a picture of a sunset in the evening. I know I won’t do it every day and it’s not something I want to pressure myself into doing. It’s really just something for me to remind myself that life is great and it’s getting better all the time.

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1 Comment

  1. Funny, I don’t think I’ve actually looked at a sunrise in years. Always in too much of a hurry, there’s some food for thought…

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