Saturday, October 24, 2009
sunrise sanctuary ~
Up until about 8 years ago, the only time I saw a sunrise was when I hadn't yet gone to bed from the night before. I was a night owl. I worked nights, usually not home until after 3 a.m., so there were many times when I'd be heading to bed at about the time the sun was coming up. All that changed when I finally got out of the restaurant business and moved to Taos, NM.
When I arrived I was graced with a most unusual and perfectly suited living space. It was a studio of about 1000 sq. ft., that had been built by the landowner for the purpose of wood crafting. It was a wide open space with lots of windows, high ceilings and double wide doors to get big pieces of furniture in and out with ease. There was a very old wood burning stove, the only source of heat, and 360 degree view of the mountains.
When I set up what was to become my bedroom area, I faced the bed Eastward, toward the stunning Taos Mountain. So, within a very short period of time I was waking up with the sunrise. I wasn't working a 'real' job at the time, so I had no set schedule for anything. I slept when I was tired, ate when I was hungry, played whenever I wanted and generally found a groove I'd never before experienced.
I recall the first morning I awoke just before the sun rose. The sky was the most eerie color...full of purples and deep black-blues. I laid there, stunned by the beauty of it, and watched as the sun made it's way up and over the mountains. I remember distinctly how it made me feel...and the tears that ran down my cheeks for the sheer magnificence of its beauty. I'd never seen anything like it.
From that day on I woke up just before the sun rose. My body seemed to take on a whole new rhythm as it adjusted to the earth's movement around the sun. Everything seemed to fall into sync with the cycles of sunrise and sunset, with the changing of seasons, with the universe as a whole. It was quite a mystical experience.
Thus began the change of my own cycles. Now, some 7 years later, even though I'm in Southern California and not New Mexico, I still have the luxury of mountains out my windows (yes, there are mountains here, although nothing like the ones in New Mexico. More like 'hills'..but still...)I also have the luxury of living rurally, which means there are lots of critters around. Among them are roosters that live on the property directly behind ours. Every morning, regardless of season or weather temps, those crazy roosters get to cock-a-doodling just after the sun begins its rise. Most mornings I'm awake before they are. And so, I make my way to the kitchen, brew my morning coffee and go sit out on the back patio to watch and listen.
This is my morning sanctuary. This is the way I begin most of my days. This is why it's so easy for me to live in this grace of gratitude. And on the days when that grace eludes me, all I need do is step outside for a few minutes and look around at the wonders that surround me. There is nothing quite like a sunrise sanctuary to make everything right again.