The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His Heaven;
All’s right with the world!
I get to the lake while it is still dark. The sky is a velvety blue-black overhead, and the stars are all visible. Soon there is a soft glow on the horizon, which begins as a faint orange and grows ever more intense. The colour of the water near my feet reflects the oranges and pinks of the sky above, and in the distance it is impossible to tell where sky ends and lake begins. Suddenly a burst of light appears as the sun peeks over the horizon. I watch it rise above the lake, the sound of waves lapping at the shore and the calls of birds the only sounds to break the silence around me. In the first few moments after sunrise, the movement of the sun is visible, degree by degree, and it only takes a few moments for the whole sun to rise above the horizon, to hover above the lake, and then for the magic of dawn to disappear into regular day.
It’s hard to express just how much I love watching the sunrise, and my favourite place to do it is at Lake Ontario, listening to the waves and the birds and looking out over the seemingly endless waters. I’ve always been a morning person, but watching a sunrise is more than just about liking getting up early. It’s God’s artistry painted across the sky. Each sunrise is different, and the opportunity to pause and observe it feels like a gift. The hues ranging from pinks to oranges to yellows to vibrant reds. The light reflecting off of clouds. The colours reflecting in the waters of the lake. Even in a cloudless sky, the sunrise is different, as the seasons change and the sun is rising in a different direction, as the birds migrate north or south overhead, as the boats move off to work in the distance.
The sunrise is a reminder that a new day is a big deal. It’s a pause in what easily otherwise becomes the humdrum of life, the rush off to work, the focus on accomplishing all that is on my to do list. The pause at a sunrise is a reminder to me that we are, first and foremost, human beings, and not human doings. I do not have to do anything, and yet the sun rises. Another day dawns. I’m at restl, but the world continues to function around me. I’m not responsible for bringing the new day into existence. Sunrise puts life into perspective for me – I’m not as important as I think. If things are difficult, I remember that this too shall pass. If I am disappointed in myself, I receive the gift of a new day. My problems or frustrations fade away in the glory of a new day dawning.
In Lamentations, Jeremiah says,
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
The taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all – oh, how well I remember –
The feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
And remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
His merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great is your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (The Message)
I couldn’t say it better myself.
Amid hundreds of sunrises that I’ve seen that all feel special, this is an extra special sunrise – in Spain as I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2014.