About fifteen or twenty years ago, my friend, Will, gave me a recipe for a peaceful life.  He is only a year older than me, but he’s a wise one.  He said, “Spend an hour each morning watching the sunrise.  And spend an hour each evening watching the sunset.”

I confess I do not do this every day.  Or even most days.  And it’s usually closer to half an hour.  But when I do, I often think of Will and how wise he was.  And yes, he does exude peace.  And yes I do feel more peaceful when I do it.  Every time.

This morning is Saturday and I awoke with a sense of leisure.  Had I been able to fall back asleep, I probably would have done so, but my body was ready to be awake and so I arose.  I was very mellow.  I gazed out my window.  It was daylight but the sun had not yet appeared over the mountain.  I got dressed, I made my bed, I looked through some old photos.  And then my eyes caught sight of the sun’s rays.  The sun had made its glorious appearance and it called me outside.

I walked out my door and through the soft sand, picking my way around the prickly pear cacti and crunching on the pinon pine cones.  I kept going east, toward the magnificent sun and the majestic mountain over which it had risen.  I found a little mound that afforded me a good view and I stopped on that mound to say some prayers.

I turned in each direction, feeling the energy and beauty of that direction.  I gazed first at the mountains, then at the valley, then at the trees.  I gazed at the sky.  I gazed at the undulations of the earth.  I noticed the various birdsongs all around me.  I noticed the cloudless sky.  I felt the temperature – warm where the sun was shining, but not yet hot.

Yes.  Will is right.  This is indeed a peaceful way to start the day.

Almost inevitably, it also brings me to a place of bliss.  Did you know that listening to birdsong, wind, or stream can actually lift you into a higher dimension?  Or send you into a mild trance?  It is certainly a beautiful way to connect to the joyful energies of the planet.

Then after a full day of work and play, how beautiful it is to sit in a chair and watch as the sun sets.  How glorious to gaze as colors spread across the sky.  How peaceful to watch as the sky slowly shifts into its indigo eveningwear.  How magical to watch as one star after another shows its shiny face.

My goodness.  Even writing about this I feel peaceful.

If you want to bring more peace into your life, try aligning yourself with the gift of the sun’s rhythms and cycles.  I suspect even fifteen minutes outside in the morning and the evening will make a profound difference.  Try it and see.  Let me know how you feel after a week of this practice.

I am grateful for this brilliant orb that so graciously sheds its light and warmth upon this Earth.  I am grateful for the gentle blanket of the sky and the symphony of birds, breeze, and waters.   What a beautiful planet we live upon.

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