The sun rises… the sun sets.
The sun doesn’t care what is happening in our individual lives. It doesn’t mind if we beg it to stop. It rises each morning and slowly warms the surface of the earth while we scramble around below trying to find some meaning from it all.
The morning after my boyfriend died, I laid in bed wide awake and completely still, trying not even to let my breaths move my chest. Like thin glass, every tiny movement made cracks. Blink slow, breathe gently, and hold onto the numbness for as long as possible. Nothing felt real, and I allowed that feeling to carry me through that first night. I stared mindlessly out the window at the small area that was lit up by street lights, trying to process the events of the day before.
I stayed like that for hours until the sun started to rise. The sun was bringing everything back to life. The street light turned off and the light spread over a wider area, showing all of the little details that seemingly weren’t there an hour ago. I suddenly felt hyper-aware as I watched the sky explode into color and cursed it for being so beautiful when my life was in such shambles. A wave of reality hit when I realized that this was real, this was my life, and it was continuing on. The sun rising meant I couldn’t hide anymore, I had to face another day… the first day without him.
Fast forward through a very long day to that evening, I had no idea what to do next, so I walked. I walked for miles until I walked past that pond and saw the colors of the sunset, and then I sat down in the wet grass and pulled my knees to my chest and sobbed. I took that picture with shaking hands because I couldn’t believe how pretty it was even though I was hurting so bad.
The sun rises and the sun sets. This became my mantra as I grieved through each day.
It gave me something concrete and predictable to hold on to; we can literally count down the minutes to when it will rise or set. Even in the darkest hours of the night, we know the sun is coming and we just have to get through a few more hours. Even when it’s raining and you can’t see it, the sun rises behind the clouds and lightens everything up. Then it sinks down and gives us time to rest.
It’s grounding to watch the sunrise or sunset, because it’s something so much bigger than us. It teaches us to let go, because so many things happen that are way out of our control. Take a little bit of time out of your busy schedule today to watch the sun rise or set. Take it all in, let go of the things you can’t control, grant some acceptance to your struggles and give a little gratitude for all that you do have. It’s free, it’s always there, and it can help change your whole perspective.