Sometimes I lose myself in the sunrise. I watch the earth’s slow motion as the sun creeps above the horizon, first as a streak of red light in the dark sky expanding into yellow-orange-pink and then the sun itself peeking above the horizon and breaking into a full orbed golden disc lighting up the landscape.
Knowing this same movement is witnessed around the world confers a kind of unity for the earth. When conflicts seem fraught and discourse harsh in politics and among citizens, when solutions appear elusive, I watch the sun rise and take comfort that it will do so day after day no matter what we on earth are doing. It symbolizes a larger force and deeper meanings we often miss, absorbed as we are in our own day to day.
Though I may not grasp the fuller meaning, I know it is there. I recognize the qualities that enable me to glimpse the outlines. An essential is gratitude. The season of Thanksgiving in the U.S. and a few other countries, of the holidays which celebrate the arrival of wisdom and wise men and women, be it Christmas, Hannukah, Eid, Kwanzaa, Diwali. Often these are celebrated with lights strung up to illumine the darker months. Light has long been the metaphor for wisdom as darkness flees before it because it can’t exist when light is present. Darkness is only the absence of light.
As we head into this season, I hope to do so with a listening thought for the wisdom waiting and a regarding eye to see pathways that may yet appear and connect. Wishing for peace seems too facile, but perhaps wishing for an understanding heart and the way to defuse violence and meanness of spirit. Acknowledging that conflict may continue among people but seeking ways to take the violence out of it and to find ways to exist together, that seems more obtainable. May we stand in wonder as the sun rises wherever we are and may our thoughts let in the light and open outward.