“Let me tell you how the sun rose… One ribbon at a time.”

A famous line penned by Emily Dickinson hinting at so many themes: story… beauty… time… detail… process…

Since late August, it’s been an intentional practice of mine to make time once per week to watch the sun either rise or set.

To me, life tends to be perceived as a whirlwind if I don’t create moments to pause, pray, practice thankfulness, and just let light showcase something so simple, so routine, yet so far beyond my comprehension.

When I look upward, it makes me feel small. Not insignificant, but in a way that a single drop in a pool of water is just one among the infinite surrounding it.

You could say the same for sand, or stars, or moments in time. It’s actually the same feeling I get when I look out from an airplane window imagining the thousands, even tens of thousands, residing within my periphery: vastness… wonder… awe…

Personally, this quarter hour each week is often when I’m most thankful. For whatever reason, I find it difficult to be thankful. And unless I’m intentional about it, I often let what I once saw as miraculous become common.

If we’re honest, most of our days are spent pursuing or thinking about things we want or don’t yet have, so I’ve found these moments to be particularly refreshing to meditate on what I already do: family… friends… forgiveness… health… provision… purpose…

The transition within a sunrise or sunset is pretty unbelievable when you think about it: how a distant orb determines life’s rhythm of time and activity, as it paints or erases itself from our atmosphere. The design is flawless. And, I’d dare to say the design of our lives and experiences is even more so.

Thankfulness is also a product of change. It’s a recognition of something in contrast to something else. It’s a celebration of value. Whether positive or negative, there’s worth in each moment, because it’s been created to have it. And, each of those blessings becomes sweetest when it’s won with prayer and worn with thanks.

As the sun cascades, I remember these processes and can take joy in them… then pause to remember the value of each moment, one after another. So if anyone ever asks me how the sun rose, I’d also tell them “one ribbon at a time.”