It is my habit to enjoy an early morning walk, usually a circular path that takes me around the neighborhood, over the bridge, and down to the creek . I listen to the song birds, the chirring squirrels, and the water as it tumbles over the rocks before flowing downstream. Ducks, herons, mink, beaver. I’ve seen a variety of wildlife in this one little piece of nature within the city.
Earlier in the year, my morning adventure coincided with sunrise. It wasn’t intentional; it was simply the hour that I had available for my jaunt. But I came to like the rhythm of it, watching the sun’s rays light up the sky in shades of rose and pink, while the air was laden with moisture, and crisp enough to bring a blush to my cheeks. Refreshing. With nary a soul in sight, the world belonged to me.
As the clocks then sprung forward into Daylight Saving Time, I made a spontaneous decision to continue rising with the sun. To let my body synchronize with the cycle of Mother Earth.
After making that choice, I read that being outdoors at daybreak has certain health benefits. It sets the body’s circadian rhythm for the day and is said to be correlated with lower BMI, although I have not personally experienced that. According to Kundalini yogic principles, sunrise rays allow for deep meditation and introspection allowing cleansing of your mind and spirit. Even without the literature and science, I intuitively feel the sacredness of sunrise time, feel the connection with the heartbeat of Mother Earth.
As spring progressed, with the sun rising a few minutes earlier each day, I found myself awake at 0730 hours, then 0715, and 0700 hours. As it now begins to inch towards 0630, it is sometimes a challenge to rise with the sun, especially when I’ve been up through the night with a sick dog, a good book or other sleep thievery. But I made a promise to myself and, even when I haul my butt out of bed with reluctance, that first breath of cool morning air fills me with gratitude that I made the effort. I smile my thanks through the remainder of my walk.
In these strange times we now live in, I notice that I no longer have the world to myself at sunrise. I see mothers biking with daughters, teen couples sitting on logs by the river, and solo hikers. Perhaps it is because they consider the wee hours ‘safer,’ there being few people about. Whatever has propelled them to engage with nature at sunrise, it is my hope, my prayer, that they reconnect with the heartbeat of Mother Earth, feel her presence and her peace.
I hope that you, too, reconnect with Gaia and that your day is grounded in her peace.
Tomorrow at sunrise, I’ll be standing at the water’s edge. Wherever you are, join with me and together we’ll sing a love song to Mother Earth.