A few weeks ago, I took a small road trip to the beach with two friends. We stayed in a cheap but incredibly nice Airbnb, where at night, because we are poor and college students, we stayed in and studied the one night we stayed.
It was a great trip. We listened to some excellent music on the way, and the drive itself was beautiful, as the day was gorgeous. We arrived on the beach in the early afternoon, and stayed on the sand almost till sunset. We took walks, dipped in the water, which was so cold it sent waves of aching up my legs from my submerged feet, napped (okay, mostly I napped), and passed a soccer ball around. The wind blew incessantly, getting sand everywhere whether or not it was welcome. The beach was mostly empty and the water, at forty-eight degrees, even more so.
The weather Sunday was supposed to be good, hence why we stayed the night instead of returning home once we were coated in sand. The three of us rose just before sunrise and trooped down to the shore. We stood in silence, watching the sky lighten, and then watching the sun rise.
We were silent and still. As young people, this does not often happen. But silent and still we were. It was lovely, and lovely to have only one thing to focus on. It was so quiet; it had been a new moon the night before, leaving the beach in a darkness so profound that I had never experienced such complete organic darkness before, and the tide was out.
Occasionally a smartphone appeared to snap a picture. Believe it or not, I’m happy the smartphone did occasionally make an appearance. It’s easy to unlock a phone and take a picture without taking one’s eyes from the actual event. I didn’t miss a moment of that sunrise, and I also have pictures to remember it from a slightly different vantage point.
If you’ve never experienced a sunrise, I would highly recommend it. This wasn’t my first sunrise, or my first beach sunrise. Sunrise is a wonderful time of day, especially if you get up for it specifically and know your warm, soft bed is waiting for a quick nap afterwards. It’s quiet – not silent, quiet. You can hear nature, mostly unadulterated by human noise, and there’s something ancient and enduring happening in front of or around you. It is an incredibly peace-bringing experience. It’s still cool or cold, but there’s a cleanliness to that, too. The quietude is what spoke to my soul. I live in an apartment with four total women including myself, three dogs, and a cat. It gets very, very loud, and having a few minutes of quiet was profound.
Find what your soul needs and enjoy it.