Every Moment Is Like The Sunrise

To listen to this post:   

To set the vibe, I recommend: Follow The Sun by Xavier Rudd

To set the visual vibe, I recommend the above image: THE GRAND CANYON. Taken and edited by my beautiful friend, Kenzie, who you will meet in this post.

To set the emotional vibe, join me through the following: When I was younger, I thought that my life would be "together" by 26. At 26, I'd be in a great job, married, and set. I didn't see any time past 26. I couldn't, it was like my life would both start (and in a way end) at the age of 26. At 26, there would be no more questions. At 26, there would be no more worries. At 26, I would be living and it would be living fully. So when I turned 26 and none of what I thought life would be was - well I then felt like every moment after the clock struck 12 on my 26th birthday was a surprise waiting to happen. When I turned 27 my primary thought was, "well I truly never imagined what this could be so - let's go?" 28? "I know I thought I wanted to be married and in a great job and set by 26, but I'm not sure if that was realistic." 29? Honestly? It's all kind of a blur. But 30? 30 is where this story begins. 

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For my 30th birthday some of my most treasured friends and I travelled to Flagstaff, Arizona for a long weekend of hiking and togetherness. The four of us had developed a sacred hiking community in the summer of 2020. Hiking was a way we could move our bodies, experience the outdoors, connect with each other when it felt like connection was an act of rebellion (it still is, I think), and for me, it was a way to put down all the worries I carried to remember who I was and to just be. Hiking together was a precious gift that we gave each other and ourselves at least monthly, if not more, for years. So as we all neared new birthdays in 2022, we threw out the idea of traveling and hiking and being together. And what came out of that was a magical five days in Arizona. 

I could tell you about every part of the trip. The tears in my eyes when I first saw the Grand Canyon. The breath that was taken away from us as we descended down the South Kaibab Trail into the beautiful colors and worn footsteps before us. Climbing up into a cave and experiencing the thrill of nature's wonder. The laughter and serendipitous moments shared around the table and watching TV after a long day of living. I think if I could live in a few moments forever, I would live in those moments in Arizona - wrapped in beauty, friendship, and a deep knowing in my heart that all is well. 

But if I had to choose one moment, it would be from the final day of adventuring, on a chilly morning, chasing the sunrise over Mather's Point at the Grand Canyon. My friend, Kenzie, and I decided to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon on our last full day of living in Arizona. We woke up groggy at 4:00AM and left our home base at 4:30 to embark on this adventure. We reached Mather's Point before the sun crested the horizon and joined in communion with hundreds of other people to marvel at nature's beauty. As the sun was rising, washing the canyon in rusty reds, orange hues, and somehow turning the sky the most brilliant shade of blue, I turned to Kenzie and said, "you know, this feels like a Brene Brown moment of asking, what are you grateful for, right now, in this moment?" (Context: on Brene Brown's podcast, Unlocking Us, she will ask her guests a series of questions nearing the end of their interview, the above question is one of them. Find Dr. Brown here!) I remember her response, it was about colors. Specifically the colors that she was seeing here and the colors of our Earth. 

When that same questions was asked of me, I said, "the feeling of awe." Have you thought about what awe feels like for you? When you can't describe something in the most beautiful way? When there aren't enough words, feelings, or expressions to capture how something imprints on you. I have always associated awe with the experience of being moved to tears and big emotions. As I approached 30, I realized that that feeling was one that I missed. Being moved to tears, big emotions, experiencing awe? That was disappearing in my life. But this trip to the Grand Canyon was like an injection of multiple awesome experiences, that at the time, I didn't know that I needed. So I said that I was grateful for the feeling of awe, because I thought I had lost it. Because it took me to start crying when I saw the Grand Canyon to remember that I can be surprised in such magnificent ways. And that that surprise doesn't only have to come from a true world wonder, but can come from my beautiful, ordinary, extraordinary life too. 

As the sun continued kissing our world in its beautiful shades and the crowd started to dissipate, Kenzie and I found the Rim Trail - an out and back trail that spans along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon - and we began walking. It was 6:45 in the morning and we were in solitude with each other, the sun, and our majestic surroundings. We walked by elk knocking horns, elk feasting on nearby grass, and even elk treading dangerously near the cliffs edge. As we walked, I turned on some music and played it low (I was playing the ~setting the vibe song listed above~) and I told Kenzie about how it felt like we were in a movie because there was not another living soul around us except for elk families. 

As we continued walking, I reflected out loud on a question Kenzie had posed to me earlier in the trip. She had asked, "do you have a word or a theme for your 30th year?" At the time she posed this question, I did not. And as we walked along this trail I told her, "my word I would like to choose for my 30th year is sunrise. The sunrise happens everyday, regardless of if we can actively see it or not, regardless of the weather, it always rises. Even if there are clouds, it is always truly awesome. It is magnificent how the same thing happens everyday and you can find such beauty and awe in it. And that is how I want to look at myself and my life. That every moment is like the sunrise. That my life happens everyday and I can choose to stand in total gratitude of it and find how truly beautiful and awesome it all is. And I stand in love and honor that. And that is the thought that I will embody." 

As we neared the end of the hike we were brought back to our conversation about how this hike, moment, and experience all felt like it was out of a movie. I turned to Kenzie and said, "I think I would name this movie, "The Sunrise Chapter."

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Everyday, I try to live my life like it's the sunrise. Somedays, there's a ton of clouds. Somedays, the skies are clear. And somedays, I don't even get outside to see the weather. And that's okay. On those days - I live in the precious moment shared with Kenzie in our own movie and remind myself that we can choose the sunrise. Thank you for choosing the sunrise with me. 

I hope you enjoy the timelapse sunrise over the Grand Canyon that reignited awe and reminds me daily to follow the sun.