A few weeks back while looking for an empty notebook, I found my journal from 2015. I was skimming through it, curious to read what I wrote then. I came across this entry that was written on 21st March 2015. We were on a vacation in a beach town that was a few hours away from where we lived. I vaguely remember the trip. We wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary early that year because I had exams in May. We had booked a room with an unobstructed view of the beach. The trip was relaxing, I remember that much. We had dinner at a Thai restaurant on one of the nights we were there. On the day I wrote this entry, I had woken up before dawn to catch the sunrise. I wanted to record my thoughts as I watched the sun creep up from behind the horizon. I remember tiptoeing to the balcony because I didn’t want to wake him up. As I waited, all bundled up in the cold, notebook in hand, I had realized that I was facing west. ‘The sun rises in the east, idiot’, I had thought to myself. I had decided to wait anyway.
Here is my (edited) entry from that morning.
It is 6AM. Dark and cold. And loud. Every wave is crashing against land with a thunderous roar. Inside the room, it was a gentle hum. The kind that you can fall asleep to. But here on the balcony, it is raucous. You cannot ignore it. You cannot look away. During the day, the ocean tries to be gentle, inviting. But in the quiet of the night, the ocean is a free spirit. Lashing and crashing, repeatedly. Nothing stirs. Each wave approaches and recedes noisily. It’s too dark to watch it unfold. But I can imagine it. The ascend of the wave as it approaches, looking dangerous and tall, broken by rocks and shallow land. That frothing in the end. Disturbing the sand. Taking some away. Leaving some behind.
I am writing in the dark. I have just realized that I won’t be able to see the sunrise. I am facing west. I feel stupid. But at least I should see the colors change. So I sit, watching, waiting for the stars to disappear. Nothing seems to be happening. It’s still dark. And cold. But I knew the black was turning to blue.
By sitting here, watching, I am no longer an observer. I am part of the change. By being here, with my eyes open, taking every second in, I have given away my ability to witness the change. I will only realize when it is too late, that the colors have changed, that the dark has turned light. The before will blend into the after. The moment will pass and the sun will rise while I watch carefully, intently. It will sneak up on me between blinks.
I could take pictures to compare later. But it’s too cold, I don’t want to reach for my phone.
I wait for the colors to change. Seconds, minutes. It feels long. This is how it is on those days when everything seems to be going downhill. When it feels like the darkness around us will never change. We must wait, enjoy the beauty of that darkness, the tiny pieces of light shining in space. There will be light soon. The sun has to rise again.
I can see my notebook now. And my scribbles, I am wondering if I will be able to read this later. The light had changed. It had crept up on me. The birds are waking. I can hear their chirps around me. The sound of the waves is different now. Still loud, but it has moved to the background. No longer intimidating. Life is stirring around me. The black has turned to blue. No orange, no yellow. I am facing west. The sun doesn’t rise in the west.