Do you know when the sun rises?
One of the things that always makes me grateful to live where I do is that nature is completely unmissable. When I am at home, my presence is secondary to the landscape. The bigness of the land here, and the smallness of the human markers on it, means that it constantly captures my attention.
I can tell you when the tide is coming in and when it’s leaving.
The colour of the sky and the form of the clouds alerts me to incoming weather changes that move towards me like spilled watercolour paints on soft paper.
I try to capture the vastness, the intensity of what I see within the narrow lens of my phone and more often than not I fail. It’s like trying to explain the flavour of your favourite homemade ice-cream with a scratch and smell sticker from Target. The experiences don’t match up.
One of the questions I’m commonly asked is how I cope with jet-lag. I’ve travelled more miles these last months than I care to add up, and with very few exceptions have no trouble sleeping once my head hits the pillow- no matter what time zone that happens to be in.
My reply always involves some version of the following:
I look to the sunrise and the sunset.
The experience of seeing both the coming and the leaving of the light is something that our brains require to regulate our presence in the natural world. It sets off a hormonal cascade that we need to balance our biological systems so they can continue to function harmoniously.
So, when I get off the plane and find my feet standing on unfamiliar ground, I try to be present for the coming and the leaving of the light.
Beyond that though, asking the question ‘Do you know when the sun rises?’ holds the key to a much bigger conversation. The answer gives us information as to how connected- or disconnected- we are to the natural world and her rhythms, how much we have let the inside world consume us.
Often times, if I’m first meeting up with people in a coaching setting, it’s one of the first questions I ask. The answers are always interesting.
In as much as we’ve come to trust an Apple watch to tell us how we’ve slept, how healthy or how rested we are before we trust our own thoughts and feelings about the same, it’s easy to do a quick google search and find the details you wish to know. We love looking to the data on our devices to answer the question of how we are, and what’s going on. We love trusting a device over ourselves.
What time does the sun rise? What were the colours of the sky of the day you were just in? How did the weather evolve?
If you have trouble answering, maybe it’s time to go outside.
“Eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in.” – Mary Oliver
Photo of me and the gorgeous red mare I had the privilege of riding to learn about cutting this week 😍