I wake up, most naturally, around 6:45 this morning and am consequently invited to witness a majestic sunrise. Lazy, grey clouds scatter across the horizon, their different textures stretched wide into a quilted panorama. The sky is a perfect parfait of colors: deep crimson borders the mountains just above eye level, while orange creamsicle peeks in and out of the rain clouds, fat with moisture; sky blue dapples the next layer with promises of a beautiful day ahead. All along my field of vision, various trees which had been silhouetted, begin to sparkle from the dew reflecting the early morning light. Pines, Spruce, Poplars, and a Weeping Willow quiver in the gentle breeze, bowing their respects to the sun.
My sleepy eyes take in more as I shift my gaze toward the south, beholding colors of pink and lavender. Light cotton clouds, almost nymph-like in their delicacy and charm, drift quickly toward the west. Are they concerned about being forgotten in this glorious light show? What must it feel like to be drawn so intimately into something so powerful as the sun? I sip my coffee and sigh a deep, satisfying sigh. Creation, new life, beauty. Lately my heart has been occupied solely with death, loss, and grief. It is a welcome sensation to feel the sun on my face through the window and to reflect on the ever-changing cycle of life.
This morning’s coral colored accents, tucked between the deep purple clouds and the orange horizon remind me of her. She loved coral and turquoise, often adorning herself in southwestern and African jewelry with those color schemes. I cannot believe that she is gone from this Earth, from our protective love. 92 years. That is roughly 33,580 sunrises (double that with sunsets). 67,160 times to have witnessed the miracle of morning and evening, of God’s mercy on this Earth. What an incredible amount of care He takes to show us His abundant love, to invite us into creation each and every day. And oh, how we take that for granted.
In this time of Lent, 40 days to revel in the life of Christ and his ministry on Earth (a mere 3 years before his death), I am challenged to take every day as a miracle, every day as a sunrise and a sunset: one a promise of new beginnings and the other a reminder of how fragile and brief this life is. I am grateful for Lent, for sacrifice, for our Lord and his brief—but transformative—journey with us. I am grateful for my family, my friends, my church—without whom I would not be the person I am today.
The sun is now hiding behind a layer of grey clouds, reminding me that winter is still upon us. But for now, I will revel in the memory of that gentle awakening, that miraculous rising of a new day, until it is time to greet the night. Selah.
“One thing I have asked of the Lord,
that I will seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.”