Sunrise on Molokai
I stand on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, only heard, not seen, in the dark to watch the sunrise
As first light shows me the horizon and the curvature of the earth, I realize the sun doesn't rise
The earth turns and carries me with it on its back up into the light.
I'm riding it right now and every single moment even when I'm not thinking about it
I can feel myself rising.
I think about what that means, that the rest the world is falling down into darkness and I feel immense gratitude that they would consent to go gracefully into the night so that I can rise up and have my chance in the sun
I stand up a little straighter, paying respect to this privilege, and I think, "This is our job, to stand upright, to do the work and meet the day so that they can rest, sleep peacefully in their beds, and half of the whole world trusts us to take care of the world for them
Later we will trade shifts."
I feel the weight of my tired body as I struggle to stand upright into the dignity of this responsibility, and I think of all the times that I've slept through the sunrise--almost every day, and sometimes I've even slept through most of the day itself. I laid down on the job. Before I can even feel guilty I realize what this means:
Even when I gave up and laid down to die, the earth carried me forward anyway
asking nothing of me
The earth kept turning and people kept taking care of it and I got to ride along when I couldn't stand up
And I feel immense gratitude that even without me trying, even when I can go no further, I am still going further
The whole world carries me forward
No matter what I do or don't do
Life is going to be rich anyway
I'm going to learn anyway
and I'm going to heal and grow no matter what.
Image: Kalaupapa Overlook, Molokai, Hawaii at sunrise.