As we sit in our temporary abode here in Auckland gazing outside on a spring morning, I’m reminiscing about our coffee dates with the sun on the balcony back home.
Here is something I wrote a while ago to celebrate those sunrises and now acknowledge how much more important they are in our lives.
Down here in the southern hemisphere, we have passed winter and sprung into spring. The days are becoming warmer; the bright green leaves are beginning to adorn the trees like Christmas decorations. Our nights are becoming shorter than our days. The good news of all is that it is still easy to wake up a little before dawn, brew some coffee, and head outside to watch the sunrise.
Wrapping up warm, we take our coffee out into the cool grey pre-dawn and settle down in a comfy chair on the balcony with a clear view of the sky facing the direction of the sunrise. Wrapping our hands around the warm mugs, we inhale the steam and be still.
This solitude is why we have always preferred witnessing a sunrise to the sun going down. Sunsets are too easy, commonplace, strewn across social media. But mornings are different. For most of us, they are rarer to see than sunsets because they require a little more effort, and therefore we are more likely to have the whole spectacular show for ourselves.
“Be patient where you sit in the dark”, encouraged the poet Rumi: “the dawn is coming.”
As we wait with our coffee for daylight to seep slowly into the world, I try to pay attention to how I deal with sitting still and doing nothing—just being together. I’m a fidgeter and rarely keep still, so lately, I have been trying to be in the moment. I try to focus on the real now, not what will happen today and my anxiety to get on with my day.
For the remainder of our life’s allotted weeks, the sun will rise every day. But no matter how beautiful they are, we can’t cram in any extra dawns. Rushing will not help. Savouring the ones we do have, on the other hand, may well help a great deal. So for a short time, it’s just us and our coffees.
Early morning is our sacred time.
It’s worth the wait to watch the sunrise—one sure thing in life. And as the world floods with sunlight, we take the memory of the calm, the rising sun, and the steaming cup of coffee into our new day that awaits.