I don't think I have every really seen one. On purpose at least. Maybe some glipses on the way to work, but I have never just gotten out of bed early for the pure intent on watching the sun rise. It is worth it I hear, and I felt like there would be no better place to witness one than my last morning in Cozumel. I had this romanticized picture of me on the beach with a cup of coffee, talking to God and snapping the kind of photos that belonged on the front of a postcard.
So I got up at 5:30. a.m. Without the help of an alarm clock or a hungry baby. I just woke up. Iattempted breifly to go back to sleep, but then felt an urging to get out of bed and make my way down to the beach. This was going to be that moment.
I told shaun where I was going so he wouldn't worry and before he rolled over and went back to sleep he warned me that the sun rose on the side of the hotel......not the beach and that I probably wouldn't be able to see much. I said I wanted to watch it anyways. I figured it would still be beautiful and amazing through the palm trees instead of over the ocean. I just knew that God had nudged me out of bed and had something beautiful and special to show me.
So me and my trusty camera headed to the beach and I waited for God to start the show.

And I waited. Until it really wasn't dark anymore.

There were no pinks or oranges in the sky. Things just eventually got brighter. The sky actually looked kind of gray and dreary. This was not the kind of sunrise I had envisioned. Surely, the sun was going to sneak over the trees any second now and take my breath away.
Someone started to set out the coffee and someone else started to rake the sand. Morning had come without the kind of magical display I had hoped for.
The sky did not turn any brilliant shades. I did not snap any pictures.
As the darkness disapeared I couldn't help but be a little bit disappointed and wonder that maybe I should have just stayed in bed.

So I sat there on my rock on a white sandy beach with crystal clear water crashing at my feet and birds chirping and tropical flowers blooming and wondered why God had so clearly pulled me out of bed to see a nothing special sun rise.
And then the irony hit me.
Like a giant wave and took my breath away.

I was sitting in the middle of paradise, looking, unsuccessfully for God's beauty.
When all along I had been sitting smack dab in the middle of it.

God woke me up, not to show me a beautiful sun rise but to show me what was already there. To see the beauty in that. Not to miss the pink petals, or the turquoise water, or the shells growing heavy in my pockets.
That sometimes I am in the middle of paradise and missing the absoulte beauty that surrounds me. And not just on the beach but...
At home on the floor playing with my kids.
Or in the backyard.
Or at dinner with a friend.
And that I need to open up my eyes and soak all that in, rather than looking out on the horizon for more.


Sarah said...

Dang, girl. You knocked the wind right out of me. I've had quite a few of these 'sunrise' moments in my life, but I usually don't come to the same conclusion that you did. Great wisdom.

Margie said...

Wow, great post Michelle. I enjoyed reading it so much. I felt like I was there with you.

Michelle said... made me cry.

samskat said...

You have inspired me to blog. And to take more notice of everyday moments around me. Thanks, old friend. : ) Perhaps the next time I'm in town we can catch up. FYI, my blog is