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On Sunrises and Starting Over

by Jaci Schreckengost about a year ago in self help
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It makes us stare; may we revel in our own changes just the same.

It’s more of a second hometown. About 10 years ago, my family moved nearly 800 miles south. It was a restart.

Not long after we moved, the town’s sunrises began to be restarts for me, too.

The first Easter we lived there, my parents, grandparents, and I piled into my mom’s car and made our way to the beach. The five of us arrived at the parking lot in the dark and pulled the folding chairs out of the trunk. I brought a towel to sit on. It was cold and windy; we were all bundled in sweatshirts and jackets, blankets wrapped around us.

We sat around, mostly in silence, while the sun rose. My mom snapped pictures on her phone, and I probably made fun of her for taking so many. The beach was quiet other than the sound of the waves beating against the shore. It reminded me there was a new day ahead. A new day of sun, of life, of family. A whole new day that could be full of changes, wonder, magic; anything could happen.

These mornings of newness continued, even after living there for many years.

One of the first days in January of 2019, a friend and I sat on the beach. We didn’t even bring blankets; we just sat on the cold sand. First, we sat in the dark. We waited, like we had planned. While we waited, we talked and watched three people in front of us wade in the ocean’s small morning waves. Before long, we watched the colors paint across the sky: purples, oranges, blues, yellows. All seeming like they shouldn’t go together well, but they were perfect. That chilly morning with sand sticking to our legs, we thought about what was to come in the next year.

Looking back, we had no idea the magic we would find that year, but that morning reminded us that it was possible.

The one morning that I attended the city’s running club, I made it all the way across the causeway and back; I moved slowly, but surely through the dark September morning. When I made it back to the starting point, the library parking lot, the sun was just starting to come up.

As I talked to a few people I had met that morning, we made our way to the coffee vendor for that morning. I bought a pour over from the Salty Bean Coffee Company. They owners ran the company out of a van, and it was my favorite. I followed them as many places as I could; I’m pretty sure them being at the running club meeting was my motivation to go that morning. I took my cup of coffee and stepped out closer to the water.

The river was still. The orange from the sun was coming over the bridge, interrupting the dark blue sky. The sun seemed to push the clouds out of the way. They were moving over, preparing for the sun to take to the sky and fill it.

There were a few boats on the water, waiting for the next day ahead. Waiting for the people who might come aboard and sail into the sea. I sat there until most of the people had gone home. I was sweaty, drinking a hot coffee, and becoming even sweatier. Still, I couldn’t stop staring at the sunrise. I took a picture of it around 7 AM.

That morning, I didn’t become a consistent runner. But that day, that sunrise, was a new start. It was a start that reminded me things can always change. I don’t have to be one thing or another. We, in sync with the world around us, are constantly changing, moving, growing.

The sky changes and, immediately, we cherish it. We do not question what it is doing. We watch the dark blue fade from the sky as we prepare for the day. As we watch the orange and yellows of the sun break through, we stop. It makes us stare; may we revel in our own changes just the same.

self help

About the author

Jaci Schreckengost

Hey there, I'm Jaci Schreckengost.

Here are some pieces of my writing. They're all drafts; some on revision one, some on revision ninety.

You can see more of my work at jacischreckengost.com. I'm also on Instagram @JaciSchreckengost.

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