A Salish Sea Sunrise
Last summer I learned that if I made the effort to wake up at 5 am, I could experience the most amazing, intense, pure stillness while watching the sun rise over San Juan Channel. I think I figured this out in mid-to-late August, because I remember catching up with the sun around 6:30 am. When I attempted to wake up for sunrise a couple of days ago and relive some of my favorite moments from last summer, I realized the current sunrise is at 5:29 am. Whoa. But I did it!
No snooze button. Groggy, sleepy eyes blinking open in the stillness of pre-dawn, the only sound the comforting whir of the box fan my roommate and I keep on for white noise. A ten-second internal struggle about moving limbs or remaining still. The limbs won. I climbed out of bed. Pulled on my leggings. Sipped some water and brushed my teeth. Ready.
Chasing sunrise. As I made my way to the south end of the island, my brain still foggy (which I prefer - less thinking), I made every effort to simply be present in the moment. Absorbing the colors that were starting to paint the sky in the pre-dawn light. Appreciating the fact that not a single car drove by me. Smelling the salty air as I parked my car near Fourth of July Beach. Sprinting down the tree-covered path that led to the shoreline before losing my breath to the beautiful sight that awaited me. And then - simply sitting on a log and listening to the birds, and the lap of waves on the shoreline, and nothing else.
Morning has always been my favorite. There is so much stillness, and yet so much anticipation heavy in the air. There is the promise of something to come. A page of a novel unwritten. The pen in your own hands. But all of that is secondary to the beautiful peace of now. The present moment. And with nowhere else to possibly be at 5:30 in the morning, I had the God-given grace of the universe to simply sit and be.