I have awoken on my final morning in Santa Fe, New Mexico and had the amazing opportunity to sit with another long, lazy but blinding sunrise. There is something so still and sacred about waking up with the sun. It is a part of my spiritual practice that I seek out no matter where I am in the world.

About two decades ago, I wrote a piece about Hope for a collection of grief stories an author friend of mine was compiling. In it, I described the frustration of trying to navigate the world after my Daughter’s death in 1997. It all seemed so strange that life was carrying on for everyone else when my world was frozen. (I will share this piece at some point.)

For now, and the feeling it brings to mind, was the audacity I felt the sun had, rising every day as if nothing had changed. Alexis died in my arms, they took her body, and we buried it in the ground. How is it even possible that the sun keeps rising?

I had distain for this consistency, until I didn’t. At some point the resentment turned to encouragement, comfort even. As long as the sun rose I was still alive, even if I didn’t want to be. Even if I couldn’t feel anything. Even if the rest of my world was turned completely upside down.

My compilation of “lessons learned from the sunrise,” expanded again this morning as I sat in the chilled, sharp air outside. After enjoying the many moments of sitting in the dark, and eventually being blinded by the irrefutable light of the sun little by little until it completely overtook the landscape, I thought about my experience of knowing.

When I am awaiting the light of a new day, I never question that it is coming. I never sit there and think “Wow, it’s been a while, maybe the sun forgot to rise” or “the sun must have something else to do” or “The sun is late! I have been here waiting forever!”

There is a “knowing” we have about certain things. I don’t question if the sun is late. I don’t try to expedite the start of the day. I don’t make up stories about it and run narratives in my head about the process. I simply sit back, allow it to unfold, and say thank you.

Some might call this Faith. I call it a reminder to extend this knowing that the sun will rise exactly as it should, beyond the sunrise itself. How much more easily would the current of life flow, if we could each just rest in the knowing, that all things happen exactly as they should?

What if we stopped making up stories about why this or that happens (most detrimentally without verifying our narratives?) What if we exercised patience and respect for the process and leaned into gratitude rather than expectation?

There are circumstances that make this knowing difficult. And we may not always have Faith. But when we don’t, or if we don’t like what the knowing brings, we can’t control it anyway.

That, I do know.

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