“Sunsets are love notes written directly to you and last lines are always the same. Life is too short and too precious to dwell on anything other than gratitude.”- Gabe Berman
Awe and gratitude are two of my favorite words; sunrises and sunsets two of Mother Nature’s most dazzling gifts. What I think of as a mini-coffee table book merges them exquisitely in Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude. Seen through the lens of wonder and a camera from the 14th floor terrace of photographer Kim Weiss’ Boynton Beach, Florida home, every image is as unique as each unfolding day. An expression of the inextricable relationship between the human and the solar.
Weiss, a book publicist who has worked for Health Communications (the publisher of the legendary Chicken Soup for the Soul series) for 20 years, now finds herself on the author side of the business with her first and I daresay, not her last offering. What was a fascinating hobby has become a community builder as she began snapping images, sharing them on her Facebook page and inviting others to post their personal pictures from their own vantage points on the planet. With the encouragement of her visionary partner John, this little gem took shape. The book can be seen as a meditation tool, as the reader opens to a page at random and gazes at the celestial show; not knowing for certain which direction the ‘bright morning star’ is moving.
As if taken from an artist’s palette, the colors that are splashed across the sky and captured by Weiss’ trained eye, range from goldenrod to pastel pinks and baby blues, from deep magenta to pure white cotton cloud puffs.
Knowing that images and words blend beautifully, Weiss cast her net out to talented writer friends and asked them to send in their poetic contributions. What came through is nothing less than goose bump inducing.
“I once had a bedroom where I could see the sunrise through one window and the sunset thought another. Mornings, I’d watch the sun spread its butter thicker and thicker around the oak trees, and then brilliantly dissolve in a flood of glowing light. Nights I’d sit in awe as he sky played with the sun’s box of crayons. These sacred bookends of light and color always lifted my heart and filled me with gratitude for the beauty of both beginnings and endings.”-HeatherAsh Amara
“The rising sun, the morning star, a new day. In the Andes, the Q’ero people met each morning with their prayers, light from light. There is a tradition I brought home from my times in Peru. Facing the sun, we open up our bodies, outstretched arms, palms facing forward, breathing deep and slow and exhaling all attachments. Breathing I light, bringing our right hand over our hearts, saying aloud, “With all my love,” and then the left hand over the area just beneath the belly button, and saying aloud, “With no fear, I meet the day. May peace by with you.”-Lee McCormick
“I can’t think of anything except sunrise at my house-when it sets the tops of the trees on fire I know it’s going to be a glorious day.”-Candace Bushnell
Other contributors are among my favorite treasured wordsmiths and teachers of love- including don Miguel Ruiz, Lisa McCourt, Jacob Nordby, Arielle Ford, Brian Hilliard, Jack Canfield, Judith Orloff, Temple Hayes, Joan Borysenko, Lisa Nichols, Betsey Chasse and Jean Houston.
Weiss has chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds for the book to a charity called AVDA-Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, which is in keeping with Health Communications’ policy of social conscience.
As I am writing these words, the sun is peaking out from beneath early autumnal down comforter clouds, yawning and stretching as it ushers me into a day of infinite possibility.