Every morning there is a light show. It starts just before dawn. It happens in every country all over the world. When the clouds are absent or scattered, it’s spectacular. And it’s free of charge. It’s a global event and it’s perpetual. It comes around every morning without fail. You can set your clock by it. All you need is a little time. It’s magnificent when experienced all alone and can also be enhanced when sharing with friends. It’s a wonderful event for all the family, all generations. For some reason, younger people and older people seem to enjoy it much more. So keep your eye on them, you can really learn something!
Some are lucky enough to just set their alarm and open their bedroom curtains and the broadcast live-streams in through their windows. Some of us might need to make a bit more effort; walk, cycle, or drive to the beach or a nearby lookout spot. But it’s always worth it. Even just watching the light trickle through the trees in your garden or local park will lift your heart and spirit. If you have an abundance of time, pack a breakfast picnic and bring something to sit on. You won’t need any fancy equipment like binoculars or telescopes, just your eyes and skin will enable you to drink it all in.
The secret to a good morning is to watch the sunrise with an open heart. ― Anthony T. Hincks
Get creative, as this is the perfect time to bring gratitude into your heart. Let your gratitude increase with the slowly rising temperature. Even in cold climates, the sun’s rays offer a permeating glow that reaches right down to the bones. And if you listen in, your bones will sing to you. A song of deep recognition of how they know the sunlight very, very well. They’ll reveal their not-so-secret secret, that all life comes from that spark, from the love of that radiance. And if you really tune in, you will notice that the song of your bones and the song of sunlight are the very same song. I believe this is why children delight more in the song and the elderly are soothed by it — they are closer to that fusion of Oneness.
In almost all landscapes all over the world, there will be an accompanying orchestra. All the wildlife like to have their say. Some melodically harmonise with the breaking dawn. And some renegades, well, they like to shriek and punctuate the undulating rays of light with a cacophony of joy and celebration at their rightful place in the natural order of things. And others, like the proud cockerels, they just like the sound of their own voice! Regardless, no two shows are the same.
Perhaps you are not an early riser. Perhaps your magical time is sunset when all the light conspires to leave in slow motion. Echoes of the burnt orange light brush up against the poised clouds as they shrink and condense. The last rays race around to form the last subtle glints of reds and yellows before they transform the clouds into seemingly solid opaque shapes. Sometimes, in winter, on the beach, there can be varying hues of purple flung across the sky and the ocean: violet, lilac and lavender — all jostling for a place on the canvas. You may pull your scarf around you or your beach towel over your shoulders, as the light and the warmth slink off over the horizon.
The dusky light plays tricks and dances into the shadows. You can’t tell if a dog or a wolf is standing before you. You might be mesmerised, even hypnotised, as all the light fades and the colours go to sleep. You yourself might yawn when the numerous shades of green surrender their individuality and bleed into the oneness of the deep-dark-myrtle-black. The night sky is coming: the moon, the stars and the comets are all taking their places, busy with last-minute costume checks and striking nonchalant poses. Saturn is notorious for being fastidious when arranging her rocky-icy-tutu. But the show must go on. Soon the curtain of night will rise and the lullaby twilight orchestra will commence: birds settling their young in nests; the prattle of parrots scrambling for the best perch in the paperbark trees; the whistle of the wind through the poplars, the nocturnal rummages on forest floors; an owl shrieks and the clutch of an eagle’s talons grip the squeal from a rabbit. Day and night, dawn and dusk — the big wheel keeps on turning.
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ― Anton Chekhov
Sailing My Way Home
I’ve seen a huge August full moon rise over the Pacific Ocean casting a floodlight that almost pierced the rocks at Byron Bay. And in that spotlight, I’ve seen whales jump clear out of the water and whack their weighty tales full force on re-entry, declaring, “I am alive and I am here.” I’ve sat with friends on a picnic blanket and witnessed our chatter dissolve so that we could truly hear each other — no words, just our beings quite literally expanding into the mystery of the universe. I’ve seen the patterns of light and umbra map the moon. I’ve imagined myself sitting there on that lunar surface and looking back at this big ball of blue, looking back at my friends. I’ve imagined my friends looking back at me, right into me, waving, saying, “Hello, I know you. You’re just like me.”
I admire people who can map the stars, know their shapes and divine their meaning. I’m in quiet reverence at those who can sail a tall ship and circumnavigate the oceans and return safely home. But that’s not me. I love the open-ended mystery. I love not knowing. Accepting and embracing my natural place in the order of things — no questions asked. I quieten my thoughts and suppress any tricky cross-examination that my chattering mind wants to push forth. With wide-eyed and broad-smiling awe, I refuse all intellectual babble. I even refuse poetic and philosophical conundrums. I conjure the stillness in the centre of this, this hurtling through the galaxies, and I deeply exhale.
There have been times when star-gazing, far from the city lights, that I’ve had to grip the tufts of grass so tight for fear of falling upwards and floating away into the theatre of time and space. Once, on a blanket in France, in the Loire Valley, I counted over a hundred shooting stars and I swear that each one gave me an intangible yet definite sense of who I truly am. My lover beside me would squeeze my hand a little tighter each time they appeared and I could not feel where he ended and where I began. I could not feel where the shooting stars ended and I began. I could not feel any borders, internally or externally. When I imagined standing at the helm of one of those shooting stars, my stomach flipped, as if on a fairground rollercoaster. And there, not moving an inch, not even daring to blink, I circumnavigated the universe and came safely home.
When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it hitched to everything in the whole universe. – John Muir
Give yourself the gift of eyes-wide-open meditation on the Sunrise, the Sunset, the Moon and the Stars. Lose yourself. Consciously, willingly and deliberately move away from your perceived troubles and look up and out. See what the infinite mystery will reveal to you. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Much love to the moon and back
Paul and Team UPLIFT