The chance to watch sunrise on February 29 comes just once every four years. When YOTS began, I wasn’t thinking beyond the scope of 2019, only about the 365 sunrises I had set out to document. As the seasons breezed past, there was hardly a second where I thought of missing sunrise on Leap Day.
It wasn’t until January 1, 2020 that I had an epiphany. To keep the tradition alive, I knew I was going to watch another first sunrise of the year, but I hadn’t made any decisions about sunrising into 2020. While driving to Peninsula Point Lighthouse that morning I reflected on the takeaways of YOTS I, one of the biggest being, “If you enjoyed this project, I encourage you to watch more sunrises in 2020 than you did in 2019.”
As I sat with that thought, I realized, 2020 is a leap year. And then the “Oh $@%&!” moment occurred. My only reaction was to hysterically laugh out loud as I realized that I could actually fulfill this ask I had of others, and that after watching 365 sunrises in 2019 I could actually watch 366 sunrises in 2020. It was then, already into the new year, that I knew I was committed to watching another year of sunrises.
After all, how could I ask others to watch more sunrises if I wasn’t willing to do it myself?
Knowing it’d be a long time before the next opportunity to watch a Leap Day sunrise, I was excited to see it on the calendar, and more excited that it was a beautiful and rare sunny morning for February in the Upper Peninsula.
A Leap Day sunrise comes just once every 1,461 days. I hope you’ll be there to watch it 2024.