Advent Calendar – Dec 21: Sunrise

The best part of my day, is watching a sunrise.

The cover pic is a photo I took earlier this year from my east facing hotel room as the sun rose over Miami. You would be surprised how quickly it happens, from the moment the pinkish red glow appears on the horizon to the time when the sun reveals itself completely and becomes a brillant ball hovering over the vista.

Above and below: Sunrise in Ottawa, overlooking Parliament Hill, from behind the Supreme Court, after I dropped off Pierre for an early shift at Elections Canada.

I wake early, usually between 4:30am and 5:30am and often, it is still very dark out. Between June and August, when the days are at their longest, I am often barely just waking to watch it all happen, but as soon as the days get shorter, I have ample time to catch the sunrise. Coincidentally, today is December 21st, the shortest day of the year and the sunrise I witnessed inspired me to write about it.

The birds announce it first. If the windows are open, I hear them chatter and chirp to each other, almost like parents getting kids out of bed, and figuring out who has drop off duty, and getting the lunches made. Its quite a chatter, lol.

I am mesmerized by the gradual change in the light. The sky changes from darkness to light, going through an unlimited amount of shades of colour from charcoal, to purple, to lavender, to pink, yellow and blues.

What I enjoy most is the outline of the horizon against these colours. The possibilities are endless if you change your vantage point each time.

I started taking pictures of sunrises when we lived on the 11th floor and had an unobstructed view of the river below. It was there that I experienced the beauty of lavender skies in the morning.

Because I seek the sunrise, I usually start my day facing east, contemplating the immensity of the Universe and the beauty that is our planet. According to Wikipedia, a sunrise is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”

In Feng Shui, East is the direction of wood element and governs family and health side of your life. This means that the East side of a home rules the medical condition of your health and mental condition of your mind. Perhaps this is why I am so drawn to sunrises, in the early morning, when I am in my most contemplative state. (Incidentally, my name in latin signifies forest, as in spirit of the wood and my astrological sign is Cancer which is all about family and home.)

It occurred to me some time ago, looking at all my photos captured at dawn, a few which I have included in this article today, that a sunrise looks just like a sunset. Yet, the feeling and its meaning to me are not the same at all. I know many people who are inspired by sunsets and many travellers on cruise ships wont go to dinner before having that cocktail over looking the sun as it sets in the water.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

(Excerpt from Lyrics “Sunrise, Sunset”, Fiddler on the Roof)

I am a sunrise kinda girl. I like that its a new day, filled with promise and hope and that it provides me with a new page. Whatever mistakes I have made yesterday are in the past. How about you?

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