Day 1,163 – Thankful for Waking Up Early to Appreciate the Beauty of a Sunrise and a Humbling Reminder of How Small I Am

Last night I set my alarm to wake up early to catch the sunrise over the ocean. Yes, I know, I should probably be sleeping in while on vacation but I just can’t bring myself to do it. There’s something magical about the hours when it’s still a little dark and the world is waking up. Being outside while the majority of the world sleeps is one of the most peaceful and serene experiences for me.

This morning Becky and I headed out to the beach while the boys slept and spent some time walking the beach as we waited for the sun to rise. While we waited for the sun to rise we soaked in the gorgeous view all around us.

As I watched the dark red orb slowly appear over the horizon I had a very interesting thought. How many times in my life have I watched the sunrise? Maybe a couple of hundred? Some may have been seen on purpose (sitting atop the Douglas Houghton Falls my freshman year at Michigan Tech and this morning) while others have been by chance (driving to work early in the morning). Regardless, I’ve spent many moments of my life watching these beautiful daily miracles. So many have been catalogued and saved in my brain. Often I think back to them when I see another similar sunrise or when I stumble across a picture of it. Each time I think of them I can almost here myself whistle at their beauty in my brain.

This morning was a little different as I thought in the context of how many sunrises I’ve seen. I felt pretty proud of myself and blessed to have seen so many. Then I thought of the ocean… How many times has it seen the sunrise?

Based on current science the Earth has experienced this beautiful phenomena approximately 1,658,000,000,000,000 times. I’ve witnessed about 0.000000000000001% of those. Of the approximately 73,000,000 sunrises which have been experienced by modern humans I’ve been able to enjoy 0.000003% of those.

Isn’t that staggering? My entire live and all that I’ve known has been but a blink of an eye in the scope of humanity and exponentially less than that in terms of the Earth. As I live out my years (hopefully many remaining) and strive to enjoy many more sunrises I’ll still only be but a flash in the pan.

The sunrise was a beauty and I am thankful I caught it today. I’m thankful for the humbling reminder of just how small I am in the bigger picture. This reminders helps me appreciate each of the individual sunrises I am able to enjoy and reminds me to be thankful for time I have. I’m also appreciative of the reminder of just how grand and enduring the Earth is. Thank you to The Big Dude Upstairs for creating such a beautiful place and for allowing me time to enjoy it.


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