In the course of an hour the sky and sea and land are completely transformed. The night shies away and darkness retreats as golden rays burst over the horizon.
The transition is stunning. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll miss it. But it’s hard not to pay attention.
Everything seems to slow to a stop both at sunrise and sunset. People pause to gaze out the window. They get up from their dinner for a peek as the day’s glory disappears. They rise from their slumber to watch the next one creep into existence.
Sitting on a dock in East London, South Africa, hope swells in my heart as blue and gold and purple waves swell over the sands. The night is ending and a new day is dawning – full of mystery and joy and promise.
Half of the 24 hours that we are allotted each day are spent under the sun and the others are spent under the moon. But on the book ends of those hours are a few of the most beautiful moments we get to experience. As much as we love sleeping and as much as we enjoy the bustle of the day, I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t appreciate sunrises and sunsets and who won’t stop in awe in the transition.
College is full of transitions. Moving away from home, returning for the summer, moving from dorm to apartment, changing majors, discovering who you are, studying abroad etc etc. Things and places and people are constantly changing, moving, morphing.
Actually, I’m starting to think that college is just one big transition. From dependence to independence. From adolescent to adult.
As of, well, yesterday, I thought that I was awful at transitions. Every move or change floods my eyes with tears and my heart with a least a bit of sorrow. I struggle to let go of what just was even as I yearn for what is to come.
I think that I have the gift of presence. Wherever I am, I am fully there. Whatever I feel, I feel it to the fullest.
The process of uprooting, tearing apart soil and destroying the place in which I have so comfortably nestled is hard on my heart. My presence is shifting and I have trouble letting go.
And even as I flounder in the in between, I am fully present in that transition. Fully feeling every bit of regret and every bit of anticipation.
Yet, there is so much clarity in these moments. In the transitions I see so clearly my weakness – the faults and shortcomings of the last season. The things that I wish I had done differently. And I look forward to the unknown with the hope of changing my course, altering the outcome. The next season doesn’t need to look like the last, and it won’t.
I have learned. I have grown. I have changed. And now I am moving forward.
The transitions of life make us stop. As darkness turns to light, as day turns to night – we see who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we are going.
They don’t make up the substance of our lives. They don’t take up most of our time. But they certainly hold some of the greatest significance.
Let us not miss the beauty and profundity of the sunrises and sunsets of our lives.
As warmth from the waking sun warms my body and ocean wind whips through my tangled hair, I breathe deeply of the salty air. I am fully aware of my messiness. My humanity. My brokenness.
I am equally as aware of my potential. My uniqueness. My dreams.
So maybe I’m not really awful at transitions, maybe I’m actually really good at them.