The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
Sunrise…Sunset… So we pace out our days.
Each sunrise carries in it that sense of possibility – especially when you’re travelling.
Each sunset carries reflections of things seen, experienced, felt, pondered on… So here are some sunrises and sunsets from our recent jaunt up the East Coast of the North Island and back down the West.
Feierabend is designed for catching the sunrise.
Our bed lies across the back of the bus – which we strategically park pointed to the view. A perspex inner window shuts out the road-dust that could sneak in through the double-doors on the back, but opens up the whole panorama out the back, and the windows either side mean that whichever way we lie we can see out.
As soon as the light goes out at night, the blind across the back goes up – and the night sky is ours.
Eventually, when the sky starts to lighten, the dawn sneaks into our slumbers and nudges us awake. So far, so peaceful.
But, if it looks as if it’s going to be glorious, comes the rude bit of awakening! I clamber over Mani, knees and elbows avoiding sensitive spots, throw on a robe, grab the camera, and am out there, watching the glory unfold.
Following which comes the next joy – crawling back into bed for the “pensioner-sleep”.
If you’ve not yet had the pleasure – here’s how the pensioner sleep goes. You wake at the time you always did, ready to face the day.
Then you think “no! No train to catch. No sitting in traffic. No breakfast meeting. No early appointment.” And you turn over and have the sweetest sleep there is.
Being on holiday, and waking for the sunrise, and then dozing off again is the perfect rehearsal for the pleasures of the pensioner-sleep, if you’re not yet quite of an age.
Comes sunset… the perfect bookend to the day.
We sometimes assume we’re going to get the best sunrises on the east coast, the best sunsets on the west … but some special places, some special days, the light and the topography combine to give us both. Kairakau and Pikowai obliged beautifully.
Sunset is of course best appreciated with drink in hand, and head lifted from the book or chessboard that has had your late-afternoon attention. The reflection of a sunset in a wine-glass is the cameo of perfection.
And then… sunrise… sunset…
Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn.”
Kalidasa, Sanskrit poet