A few more pictures from that morning when we went to see the sunrise at the beach. I want to remind myself of the luxury feeling of having the empty beach stretched out before us as we walked along with no destination, nowhere we needed to be at a specific time, just the freedom to stop and watch the waves crashing over and over again, or to examine the amazing patterns on huge jellyfish or the multitude of tiny stones and shells washed up on the shore. I want to bring more and more of this peace into my daily life, without having to go far to find it.
During the holidays or on a day off, I sometimes like waking up at dawn to go on a mini-adventure. I won’t pretend it is easy, but once the ten first minutes after waking have passed (where I curse my body for needing so much sleep), I am usually excited to go explore. Those are the mornings I tend to remember best when I look back, since they break the routine.
So one morning, during our recent trip to France, Paolo and I woke up when it was still dark, swallowed a quick breakfast and drove to the beach. It was such a gift to get to witness the world waking up. We spotted a family of deers on the road which promptly skittered off as we slowly drove by, not wanting to scare them. There were barely any other cars and the silence was broken only as we approached the beach, by the relentless crashing of the waves on the shore.
I loved being in the moment with nowhere to rush off to.While Paolo was fishing, I had time to wander and observe the plants on the dunes with their pastel colours blending with that of the soft sand. The vast expanse of dunes overlooking the long empty beach, surrounded by the sky changing colours, were breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful.
For ages I’ve been meaning to get up early to enjoy watching the sun rise. Though sometimes I witness gorgeous sunrises as I cycle to work in the winter, it’s not like I really take the time to enjoy them to their full extent. When we’re on holidays, Paolo and I do our best to see the sunrise, somehow it’s easier to get up at an ungodly hour when you know you can indulge in a leisurely nap in the afternoon. However lately I’ve been feeling I want to experiment with weaving more of the fun things we give ourselves space to do in the holidays into daily life.
So I decided to simply set the alarm at 5:30am on my free Friday, and after some inevitable snoozing, I got up and headed outside to enjoy the morning light as it appeared. When I told a friend about it afterwards, she immediately asked ‘Where did you go?’. Actually this time I kept the bar low and just went out the front door and into the neighbourhood, nothing fancy but it was perfect!
I love being up and about before other people wake up, and it felt like I had the streets to myself. It was very quiet, with barely any cars or people, just lots of birds singing loudly to each other. As I explored, I decided to be mindful and focus specifically on the light as its slanted rays started to shine on the peaceful world around me. I took my time and noticed what my eyes were drawn to.
The most magical detail was the dew, one perfectly round drop hanging onto the tip of every single strand of grass, glistening in the sun. I’d never noticed that was what dew looked like up close, it was mezmerising! It is such a pleasurable way to start the day, I definitely want to do this again soon.
Those moments around dawn and dusk, when the light is soft and a magic glow shines on everything, are my favorite times of the day.
While we were in Capraia Paolo and I made a point to be outside and enjoy them often (even if it meant getting up at 5am to see the sunrise).
We have our own favorite ways of being in the moment: I like to take pictures and capture the gorgeous light, while for Paolo it is the best time for fishing. Over the years, I’ve taken tons of pictures of Paolo on different coasts, patiently casting his line against stunning backdrops of changing skies.
Dawn is particularly magical because it is so quiet, and as the fiery sun makes its majestic appearance, it feels like nature is putting on this show just for you.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #1
Stopping what I was doing to watch the sunrise (even if it was from the windy rooftop of our office building after making early morning calls to clients Down Under)