Tag Archives: joy

I love the sunrise, she makes me smile

This month I am developing a fascination with the sunrise. This beautiful melting pot of colour happens every single day and most of us rarely bother to get out of bed to see it. My work upon the ocean means I am required to be up at 5.15am every single day (no that doesn’t get any easier over time) and one of the upsides of this is that I see the sunrise almost every day of the week.


I can’t help but notice how the sunrise is entirely different each day; sometimes she is merely a gentle wash of pale gold across a cloudless sky and turns the surrounding land where I live a beautiful warm orange. I love to watch the windows of houses reflecting the golden hues of the morning as we head out to sea and leave the sleeping people of the coastal town behind. I doubt they realise what they are missing as they run carefree in their dreams.




On other days the sunrise is pretty in pink and dusts the low mountain clouds with a hint of colour to remind us that the day is just beginning. She silhouettes the boats in the harbour perfectly for photographs and on occasion turns the lighthouse into a perfect work of art.




But it is the days that the sunrise is a riot of colour that I adore most of all. On those overcast days with puffy grey clouds she is like a child on too many E numbers – wildly creative and running amok. It is on those days that she leaves me speechless with a fire of reds, pinks and oranges that spreads across the sky. An ever changing picture that in the blink of an eye is slightly different.




I am incredibly lucky that I get to see these sights each day and to think that with a little effort, most of us could see the sunrise more often than we do. The sunrise is free, it happens every single day. Get out there and see it happen, feel the magic of it. I cannot help but feel warmed in body and soul when I see this beauty around me. I love the sunrise, she makes me smile and reminds me just how precious this life is.


“The morning always has a way of creeping up on me and peeking in my bedroom windows. The sunrise is such a pervert.”
Jarod Kintz



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Just a little Christmas story


The sea eagle dipped gracefully over the ocean and tilted its wings toward the golden sand to glide along the surf line. The water sparkled with the midday sun as the eagle banked along the shore and reflected tiny stars of light. Stars that caught on the underbelly of the fish grasped tightly in sharp eagle claws. It was a deliciously fat, round fish with a chubby belly of scales. The weight of the fish pulled the eagle down further. A trail was drawn across the smooth surface of the ocean as the water tickled the underbelly of the fish. Yet with the merest beat of strong wings the eagle lifted just enough to soar onwards. Just enough to catch the wind, to continue effortlessly above the turquoise waters and pass the bathers turning various shades of pink under the sun’s rays. The wind ruffled the sleek white feathers of the eagle underbelly as it passed by and exposed taught muscles, the perfection of nature and her aerodynamics.


The eagle came to rest at the far end of the bay on an outcrop of sharp black rock that stood out against a hot cloudless sky. The rock held fast amongst the underwater gardens of the coral reef nestled around it and provided a perfect dinner table. It was no more than a five minute swim from the shore yet the eagle sat unnoticed and undisturbed atop her perch. The fat fish became nothing more than scale and flimsy bone over the next hour as the eagle picked at it lazily. Nobody noticed. Not a single person on the beach saw the eagle and her prey glide by. Not a single person had looked up to that rock and witnessed the eagle’s presence with excitement in their eyes.


The bathers continued to lie, to loll on coarse sand and turn like sausages on a grill. They picked up tiny flecks of sand as they moved; round beads of sweat gathering on brows and meandering into crooked elbows that held books against the sun. They morphed into shades of pink, caramel and deep brown as the day wandered onwards. Human chameleons, colour charts of skin and sun exposure from around the world. Too preoccupied to glance seaward and notice an eagle and her fat fish pass them by.


As I watched that story unfold at the beach this week it really struck me that nobody else noticed, or reacted to, the presence of the eagle. I had to sit on my hands and bury them deep into the sand to stop myself from running after it in my excitement and awe. As I sat upon my frayed yellow beach towel, fingers curled tight into the sand, I realised how easy it is for small, precious moments to pass us by. We are all so engrossed in our own worlds, our own worries and dreams, ambitions and expectations that we forget to really look sometimes. If we took a moment to stop and observe the world around us perhaps we would experience that much more. Build a mountain of small moments that become the memories of a lifetime.


As Christmas approaches, people across the globe become even more consumed and frantic than usual. We barely stop to look around us and appreciate small moments before they pass us by like that eagle. We spend money we don’t have on lavish presents, we rush around searching for the last bag of sprouts and wonder what on earth can be made with the tins of chestnut puree that suddenly appear in supermarkets everywhere. We consume strange drinks named Eggnog, Snowballs and Advocat yet nobody knows what they are. Pigs in Blankets are recognised as an actual foodstuff and men, in their time honoured tradition, buy their Christmas presents at the last possible moment on Christmas Eve. With military precision we plan how to visit every single family member across the country in one day…as if the world were going to end in the morning. Foot to the gas pedal and high on the sugar from a mountain of flaky mince pies we drive on exhausted into the night. We listen to carols sung under star-filled skies, the Queen has a chat on the television about stuff and the adverts promise us joy, happiness, sales, Christmas music, more reasons to shop and a lavish sprinkling of Christmas cheer. And then we get up on Boxing Day and do it all again. People queue from 4am for the Christmas sales before the festive season has even come to a close and buy sofas they don’t need.


It is a frantic time quite unlike any other and I can imagine that watching it as a newcomer to Planet Earth would be absolutely hilarious yet slightly unnerving. Humans high on too many Quality Street, running around in paper hats and wielding explosive crackers that contain pointless toys. Make of it what you will extra-terrestrials. We love it.


I absolutely adore Christmas and I wouldn’t change the joy, laughter, Lindt chocolate santas peeking out of woolly Christmas stockings and strangely named drinks containing eggs and nog for anything. But perhaps I would change one thing. I would ask people to step back for a moment from the consumerism, from the frenetic rush to Christmas Day and look around. Take a moment to appreciate the small and seemingly insignificant. Give someone less fortune than you, someone that finds Christmas difficult, a big warm hug and a reason to smile. Forget the money and excessive shopping, stop trying to please everyone all at once and notice what truly brings you joy. Can you remember how it felt to wake up on Christmas Day as a child and, before you opened your eyes, you wondered if it had snowed overnight? Do you remember that feeling of excitement in the pit of your stomach at something so simple? Go and find moments with your loved ones that bring back that feeling and cherish them. For they mean so much more than the presents.