It is always dawn somewhere in the world. That fascinates me. When someone is in the middle of the blackest night, someone half a world away is experiencing the joy of a new day. That’s how life is: seasons of light, seasons of dark.
I can hardly believe that just a little over a year ago, my family was on Lanikai Beach, watching the sun rise over these two small islands called Na Mokulua, aka the Mokes. I was booked to speak in Honolulu and this trip seems like an even greater blessing considering how this year has unfolded.
Some days Kim got up to watch the sunrise while I stayed back as the kids slept. Some days we traded places. And a few times, we went together as a family. Every morning’s show was unique, but always spectacular; a living watercolor painting, with a cavalcade of new colors seeping into the sky. The kids enjoyed scouring the beach for treasures that the sea brought forth during the night.
I can’t help but wonder now, after this slog marathon of a year, if I’ll ever go back there with my family. And I don’t necessarily mean that specific beach, but any beach, far away from any fear wrought by a pandemic, or civil unrest, or a divided nation. I wonder if a time will ever come when the future looks bright, and hope isn’t constantly being trampled underfoot. Will this dark night ever lift?
But then I remember something about that week. We didn’t have tune in to the television meteorologist to tell us if the sun would rise each day. We didn’t have to wonder, or cross our fingers and hope for the best. It did, just like it always does.
We were also on the beach at night a few times, when it was so dark the ocean could only be heard, not seen. I didn’t bother worrying that it might stay that way indefinitely. The sun would most certainly rise again, in time.
And yet, when we find ourselves in the middle of a dark and lonely season of life, it can feel like the sun will never shine again. But alas, it is always darkest just before dawn.
Maybe you find yourself there, right now.
There is no reason to lose hope. You just need to hold on. Dawn is coming.
It always does.
Another thing to consider. Even though we had gotten up early and made it to the beach, had we been looking west, we would have missed the sunrise entirely. It still would have happened, but we wouldn’t have seen it.
Perhaps you’ve been missing some of the magic currently happening in your life because you’re not looking in the right place. In some ways, this has been a dreadful year. But in others, it has exploded with new opportunity and unveiled some hidden blessings.
And so yes, I am confident that although things seem bleak at the moment, this pandemic too shall pass. Darkness will dissipate and we will see that we weren’t as divided as we thought we were. And we will be back on the beach to soak in the sun and bask in the blessings that arrived during the night.
This painting is a reminder that in these dark nights of the soul, sometimes we need patience and sometimes we need a new perspective.
Either way, dawn is coming.