New Year’s Day was our fourth sunny day in a row (so far!) after a long string of gray days in December. It’s been such a joy to take out my camera again!
Although I would have preferred to sleep in, I opened my eyes in time to notice intense sunrise colors low on the horizon and was out the door within a couple minutes – with my sleep eye mask still dangling around my neck!
The bridge and trees obstructed much of the color, so I jumped in the car and set off in search of a better view. The intense tones were elusive and fading quickly, but I was on a quest for sunrise inspiration and beauty in whatever form it appeared.
Then I was drawn to the Saratoga Monument, which commemorates the American victory in the Battle of Saratoga – the “turning point” of the Revolutionary War.
That was the image of the day. Something about the juxtaposition of the sunlight and the cannon spoke to me.
Going off in search of beauty and inspiration is a great pleasure in and of itself. It’s like a daily treasure hunt. The images I capture become part of my visual gratitude journal – which presently contains thousands of images that remind me on gray days of the goodness and wonder that exist in the world. Meditating on what drew me to a particular image takes the process to an even deeper level.
The image of the tree standing in between sunlight and the cannon speaks to me of the choice we have every moment of our lives to be at war or in harmony with the present moment. Are we receptive to the grace that shines in our life even when we are on the ground fighting our various battles? I believe that pausing to connect with the light makes all the difference.
After returning from my New Year’s sunrise quest, I tried to get a little more rest. As I lay down, the sunlight beamed through the window, and I experienced the sensation of being filled with light, beginning in my toes and going all the way to the top of my head. It wasn’t something I tried to do; it just happened, and I allowed it. As light filled me completely, the word grace (and the feeling of grace) entered in as well. For a few moments, I was filled with light and grace – and felt as if I was light and grace. I have experienced this sensation a couple other times, and it is a most wonderful gift.
Being receptive to the light that shines in our lives – the light that is at our core – is a gift we can give ourselves. Every moment is a choice!
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