- Successfully watched every sunrise of 2019
- Hosted a sunrise party in Marquette for the final sunrise of 2019 with over 50 people joining me.
- The biggest spread of locations across the Upper Peninsula.
- Sun was visible for 6 of 31 sunrises
Where do I begin? Or more importantly, where do I end? When do I end? What more can be said that hasn’t been said? Three hundred sixty-five sunrises in the books, and I may be left with more questions than answers. But what has been answered will stay with me for a lifetime.
Over some period of time beginning on January 1, I’ll begin to digest and expand on the largest themes of this sunrise devotion. In no particular order those themes are…
- Being deliberate in seeking nature and solitude.
- Beginning your day with nature before all else.
- A bright pink and purple sunrise is not inherently more valuable than a gray and overcast sunrise.
- Sleeping routines. As the summer sunrises got earlier and earlier, I realized I was just getting up at the same time every day, 30-60 minutes before sunrise. It’s only the human clock which told me otherwise.
- Commitment. I would say, “I’m photographing every sunrise of 2019.” And they would say, “What about the rainy days?” “Every sunrise”, I would emphasize.
- Love, yup, that happened too.
- Most photographers only chase the “pretty” moments in nature.
- “The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset.” – Catherine Opie
- What it means to live each day to the fullest, and just how achievable is that?
- Just because you didn’t see the sun doesn’t mean there wasn’t a sunrise.
- If my New Year’s resolution was to “get back into photography” it would have never happened. A resolution needs to be much more deliberate and precise.
- Documenting the change of the Lake Superior shoreline during epic storms and record high water levels.
- A relationship with The Lake, the sun, and sleep.
- What it means to have a daily routine.
- The challenge of doing any single task every day for an entire year.
- Giving context to photography.
- Exploring craft, beyond photography, this has been a lot about writing and creating a digital archive of the project.
- It’s not about the photography, the photographs are simply a means of documentation. The experience is always better than the photo. Viewing a photo has now wind, no heat, no cold, no rain, no snow, no warmth on your face. No sound of water. No sound of gulls.
- Weather. I want to change the context of “bad” weather.
- Creating something, anything, every single day.
- Creativity and success by brute force.
- And yet, I go. So much about life is about showing up. Rain. Whiteouts. Bitter windchills. That builds the character, which builds the reward. Then you feel the glorious sunrise shows up, you feel it much more intensely than the people who never showed up during the bitter windchills.
- I sought the sun, but what I found was so much more.
- My appetite to create more. The energy of the sun has truly been absorbed.
- Finding delight in the simple things. “There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” ― Jo Walton
- Seeing the sunrise and watching the sunrise are two different things. Most of the sunrises we witness are by happenstance — during a commute to work, out the kitchen window, or while lying in bed.
- Like plaid is to Plaidurday, and squirrels are to Rice, and beer is to Branson, the sunrise will forever be a part of my life in a way it never was before.
- Finding the next “double rainbow moment”
- “When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.” – John Lennon
- This feeling of accomplishment has been felt one other time, at the conclusion of the Hometown Invasion Tour, as this has been the second most Carpe diem year of my life. The best year is debateable, but a year with an incredible amount of life is for certain.
And that’s it. That’s the entire Year of the Sunrise wrapped up in a single bulleted list. What I know is this, if you watch the sunrise every day for a year, your soul will be overflowing.
What’s next? Where do I go from here? Sunrise is at 8:33AM tomorrow.
Two months into this project I revisited a favorite book from college, “Walking” by Henry David Thoreau. It lead me to a couple HDT quotes that best summarize this project.
“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.”
“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
Did you know that HDT only lived at Walden for two years, two months, and two days?
All said and done, I’ve still never watched a sunrise on February 29. Sixty days to go.
Songs of December
Music has played a large role in this year's journey. These are the songs that were the theme of December, the ones that were playing in my car stereo on the way to sunrise, in my headphones while editing photos, and the ones being shared with those closeest to me. Check out the entire playlist.
We spent the whole night talking, You said you'd like to see the sunrise. It's been a joke amongst friends that I'll stop getting up for the sunrise when someone else is there in the morning to say "stay in bed".
Darn right I listen to Billie Eilish.
For Delilah, my one and only.
December Sunrise Locations
Fuel more Sunrises
There is plenty more content to come from Year of the Sunrise I, II, III, IV, and ...V(?). Add a weekly or monthly cup of coffee to fuel more sunrise content. Or, add a quarterly tank of gas to fuel more sunrise road trips, which is just how all this began.Add ☕️ Add ⛽️