This morning, I watch Phuket come to life through weary eyes from the comfort of the dark, air-conditioned mini-van that is taking me to the airport. Tired from the early start and lack of sleep and unexcited about the day’s journey ahead of me, the sole purpose to be stamped out of Thailand and stamped back in for another thirty days until I can decide upon my next movements.
I stare out the window watching the morning unfold and that is when the horizon catches my eye. I focus my eyes on the furthest, tiniest point that I can see. There is a faint but subtle glow, growing by the second, washing away the stillness of the night. The glow on the horizon continues to grow as the sun continues to rise. It is almost like a changing of the guard with no fanfare, unnoticed, played to an oblivious audience. But this changing of the guard deserves attention, homage and gratitude as nature paints another magical landscape. Midnight blue becomes deep violet grey and then a rainbow of mauve, pinks, peach and soft apricots. Softening and warming the sky, the sun eases its way into view with majesty and grace, matching the gentle energy of the morning.
I wonder just how many sunrises I have slept through in my life unaware of the beauty that was occurring while I slept. I watch the Thai people get on with their days, seemingly unaware of the magic taking place. I watch men, women and children, piled on motorbikes in ones, twos and threes, wearily riding to school and work, looking straight ahead. I see people stop at roadside vendors to buy some breakfast, intent on the transaction at hand. I watch a lady pay homage at a shrine at Heroines Monument and I wonder if she has said a silent prayer of gratitude for this beautiful morning.Then I see a sight that makes me gasp. Rows of perfectly aligned, tall, skinny rubber trees, their trunks shrouded in low lying fog, standing meekly before a gentle rolling hill, all silhouetted by the peach light of the rising sun. I wish I could stop the minivan to savour, fully, the magical landscape before me. My fingers itch for my camera, left at home, so I can capture this perfect image forever. Instead I crane my neck and keep my eyes on the scene until moments later it is out of sight. I am abuzz with gratitude for the beauty I just viewed and a desire to observe the world at sunrise more often.
This morning I am reminded of how I so often tread through my daily life unconsciously, focused on myself and with lack of awareness and gratitude. This morning, the nature of this planet gently and lovingly calls me to awaken and pay attention to what is important in life and in this world. I promise myself to try and live my life awake and to try and see the beauty in every moment.
I look back to the horizon and see the sun come into view. This planet is awake. In this moment, I am awake.
Sunrise over Ganges, Varanasi