Sunrise No. 1,000 of 1,600+
- Sunrise time: 7:30
- Azimuth: 91° ⇡
- Did the sun rise: Yes
- Was the sun visible: Briefly
- Felt like: 52 ºF
- Humidity: 93%
- Wind: 9 mph ⇡
- 1/640 sec
Robinson's Folly, Mackinac Island, MI
141.4 mile commute
📍 45° 51' 15" N, -84° 36' 18" W
Musings [530 words]
Sunrise 1,000. One thousand consecutive sunrises. As humans, we love even round numbers, they make for easy milestones. Assuming each sunrise has more meaning than the previous, 1,000 is only is only slightly more meaningful than sunrise 998 and 999, and only slightly less meaningful than 1,001.
It was in August 14 of 2019 I wrote in my journal, “1,000 sunrises has a nice ring to it,” which seemed like an incredibly daunting achievement, almost laughable. At that time, I was still four months away from finishing YOTS I. But this sunrise, Sunrise no. 1,000, does carry more significance to me, a lot more than 998 or 999, but not just for the reason that I wrote it down so long ago and not because it’s a nice round even number.
The idea of being on Mackinac Island for sunrise this morning only came to mind because later today I’ll be driving to a dear friend’s celebration of life event. It was here, on Mackinac Island, where I last saw her. So yes, today’s sunrise does carry more weight, more meaning, more emotion, it just so happens to fall on a nice even milestone. It’s made it difficult to address the many times people have asked in the last week, “How are you going to celebrate after 1,000?” The honest answer, is drive directly to a funeral.
The fact is, life is not linear. We create these milestones in life, arbitrary or not, that we strive toward, but life continues to happen along the way. We end up in places we never imagined as life takes all its twists and turns. Worldwide pandemics happen, unimaginable injustices occur in front of our eyes, love is found, love is lost, lives are born, and lives are lost. And through it all, the sun rose every single day. Be it the happiest or the darkest day for these last 1,000 mornings, I have a small token from that day to carry with me. For those 1,000 sunrises, I’ll be able to look back and know that’s where I stood on any given day, and before all else I chose to seek beauty in nature to find solitude and purpose before all else. If you’re careful, and deliberate, you might get to look back and say you’ve grown.
I’ve struggled this week with the amount of praise this project has received as I’ve neared this milestone. I knew it was going to be emotional for me, but I didn’t know all the reasons why. The days we have our limited, and none of us know just how many there will be. But we can choose to embrace small pieces of our life fully. It doesn’t have to be sunrise, but I believe it’s a pretty good option. Every single day, sunrise provides a tiny opportunity to celebrate life, and it’s available to everyone of us. Today will be a good day to celebrate life.
Thank you to Matt and Anika for the lovely accommodations on the island. A fantastic bike ride, several beers, a drizzly morning where I thought the sun would never show, and the best corned beef hash I could ask for.