Sunrise Over Sea

On Saturday, Josh and I watched the sun rise over the atlantic ocean. We had decided to go to the beach for the day – one of the many perks of living in central North Carolina, where the beach is only a little over two hours away – and, while we were planning the day, I happened to think back to that morning in college when, in the middle of the night, I had felt an overwhelming urge to watch the sun slowly rise over the water.

It was so strong that, despite feeling a little crazy, I remember throwing the covers off, getting dressed, making my way out to my car in the dead of the night, and heading east. I got there just as the sun was coming up. I remember sitting on that sand, watching the colors play on the water, and feeling tiny in front of such vastness. I was blown away by the beauty and power of it all.

To this day, it remains one of my most memorable and healing experiences.

So Josh and I decided to do it. He had never seen the sun rise over the ocean and I was longing to relive it.

We left in the dead of the night, coffee mugs in hand, and made our way east. We had planned it so that we would see the whole thing, from beginning to end, from complete night to day – something that neither one of us had done yet.

By the time we reached the coast, it was 5:15 am. It felt like the middle of the night. The streets were deserted and the only sound when we got out of the car was the hum of the waves and wind only a couple hundred feet away.

We refilled our coffee mugs, grabbed our blanket, and made our way out onto the sand in the pitch dark. It was hard to see anything, but we picked a spot that seemed like a good one and settled down. We leaned against each other for warmth and closeness, sipped our coffee, and waited.

Turns out it takes a long time for the sun to rise. It likes to tease the night, play with the sky and clouds, and slowly paint the morning before it finally makes its appearance. It was like watching very slow fireworks.

We were on the edge of our seat the whole time, pointing out all the differences we saw.

“Is the sky getting lighter?”

“It looks like it’s becoming a very dark shade of grey…slowly.”

“Oh look, I see some pink on the horizon!”

And then, there were moments when it was so beautiful, that we said nothing. We simply soaked it in.

For two hours, we watched the sky slowly change colors over the waves, casting oranges, purples, pinks, and reds everywhere.

Then all of a sudden, around 7:15, a huge pink ball of fire made its appearance on the horizon.

It was breathtaking. And, now that it had set the stage, it no longer felt like taking its time. Quickly, within minutes, it traveled upward. Going from bright pink, to fiery orange, to a glowing yellow.

And then it was morning. Surfers, runners, and walkers slowly started trickling onto the beach…and as we looked around us, we watched the world wake up.

It was a new day.

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