As an effort to sensitise myself about the unfolding mystery of dawn, I challenged myself to wake up every day before sunrise and write a page about it. To step it up even a bit further, I wrote the whole page with my non dominant left hand.

Since I have been traveling in the month of May, I had the fortune of witnessing sunrises at varying latitudes, longitudes and altitudes. I was at beaches, piers, highways, temples, in bustling cities and rustic hinterlands. Witnessing and documenting the experience of sunrise at all these places has been a great creative journey.
Today, I wish to share what I learnt from the whole experience, which was part of ‘The Power of Everyday’ project for the month of May.

My learnings :

1) The Sky has a Personality

No two sunrises were ever alike. I feel it holds true for ever since the sky has existed. Most of us wake up inside a house and never get to witness a sunrise, but believe me, even if you watch the same sky from the same place on two successive days, they would be quite peculiar.
The sky is alive.

2) We have become color blind

For as long as I can remember, every single landscape drawing of a little kid in school has a blue sky.
But if one takes initiative to watch a sunrise with a kid, they’ll be mesmerised by the range of colors exhibited in the sky. I would only come up with newer descriptions of colors, just when I thought I had exhausted my imagination. Such is the splendor exhibited in the sky.
I had to compare the shades in the sky to popcorn yellow, cashew white, Bunsen burner blue, misty Clementine, scarlet red, princely purple etc.
The experience truly enlivened my imagination.
We should all spend some time transcribing colors of the sky !

3) The Celestial Game

We have grown up to believe that the sun ‘rises’ in the east. But in reality, it is the earth that turns from east to west and experiences night and day in the process.
While watching a sunrise in rural Thailand, I imagined it to be not just ‘sun rise’ but also ‘star-set’.
The countless twinkling stars are outshone by the might of the sun. With the rising sun, stars disappear.
I would see Venus set every morning in the North-West horizon, as the cresent moon rose, only to be obliterated by daylight.
All of a sudden I would see a morning not just as sunrise. I got sensitised to more celestial phenomenon.

4) Clouds- Unsung Heroes

Clouds are the true painters of the sky. The most mundane sunrise I’ve witnessed was one where there wasn’t a cloud in sight. And the best sunrise I experienced was at a sunrise point at Samet Nangshe in Thailand, where I could see a storm in one part of the horizon and spent clouds hover just behind the behemoth of limestone piers as the sun rose. It was one breathtaking experience.
Clouds scatter and diffuse sunlight, infusing the sky with hues of their lively imagination.
They’re the true painters of the canvas of the sky.

5) Sounds

The transition from the buzz of insects at night to the rousing awakening of birdsong is a lesson in dynamics for a musician. A simmering symphony of nature orchestrated by the sun’s inevitable advent.
I always wondered what the birds sang about in the morning. Then one day, I realised, maybe they are just singing in surprise of the daily unfolding of colors in the sky. Encrypted in their song are reams and reams of passionate poetry.

6) We are losing our Sky

It was disheartening to witness a sunrise in India. Our bleached skies look pale and diseased. Every single day, we deprive ourself of the wonder the sky could be. Our actions are polluting the sky and if we don’t act soon, we will lose a priceless gift of nature.

Sometimes I wish,
If I Bicycle more, maybe there will be less pollution, and we might see one more star in the sky.
If a billlion of us choose to do the same,
Imagine how a sky with a billion stars would look like?

I hope we all take collective action, and reclaim the sky from our own doing.

Let us celebrate each sunrise with the same enthusiasm as birds and trees do.
And with each sunset, lose ourself in the infinity of the sky.

I leave you with that thought,
In sincere hope of fostering,
Existential awe.