Years ago, I was on a 10-day backpacking trip and had spent a rainy night in the tent. In the morning, I stood outside, just at the timberline at the head of a long slope and I watched the first sunlight tickle the treetops on top of a cliff in the distance. It seemed painstakingly slow to watch the bright amber hues of sunlight creep quietly towards me, chasing a curtain of darkness being pulled back to reveal the forest in its true, colorful form.
It took nearly an hour, but I’ll never forget that warm feeling when the sun finally kissed my face for the first time that morning. It was warm, gentle, and soft; so bright it was almost blinding. It stopped my shivering and started to dry everything out. I knew everything was going to be okay.
I think a lot about that morning, especially when I feel frustrated about progress in life, or when I’m looking for answers that don’t seem to come, or when I’m just feeling impatient. The sun doesn’t flip on or off like a light switch; when dawn is approaching, it very quietly casts the slightest hint of color and light into the night sky. In my experience, it’s nearly impossible to point to a precise second in time as “the moment” sunrise begins. It’s more like a delayed realization — we look around and realize, hey, the sun’s already coming up! I think it’s getting lighter!
I started running again, several months ago. Progress had been painfully slow. I wanted the dang noonday sun already. But it doesn’t work that way. I huffed, I struggled, I could barely go a mile. Then two. Then three. Then, thanks to some inspiration (competition?) from sharing my progress, the sun finally popped up over the mountain. I ran almost 13.5miles not long ago. It’s the longest single run I’ve ever had. Sunrise.
Whether it’s physical progress, emotional growth, knowledge, relationships developing, or whatever kind of light we’re working on, I think it’s important to remember the sun’s path. It can be slow. Sometimes we can see the sunlight but it’s not time for it to reach us yet. Slow can be good. Slow can teach us. Slow helps us appreciate each morning, and being slow just makes us more like the sun.
👉 Here's a quaint, classic view of Yosemite Valley with a golden, crimson sunset and clear blue skies on a late September weekday. I'll be back in a month Nov. 19-21st to show my parents around (who aren't outdoorsy at all) 🙏😅
👉 •• How did you discover the outdoors? Was it through family vacations, or self discovery? Lmk below 👇 ••