This I Believe

Melissa - Anchorage, Alaska
Entered on December 27, 2006

I believe in the steady, quiet movement of the sun. Marching silently onward, pulling us into each new day. When I have the great fortune of being truly present as the sun creeps over the horizon, or as it slides softly into darkness, I feel at peace. Whatever the day brings, one truth remains…the sun will rise, and then it will set. For thousands of years, through periods of oppression and enlightenment alike, this has been true. Even more beautiful is that it is true for all. The sun does not only rise for those who have wealth, fame or power. It rises equally for anyone who chooses to make the journey through the coming day.

I often wonder what exactly it is that gives me such a sense of peace while watching the glow of the sun as it tracks along its path. Perhaps it is the quiet way that it moves, without pretense, without an agenda. Then again, I wonder if it’s not something simpler that attracts me, the hue of the sky as the colors shift and change, colors that have not even been given a name or a place in the giant box of Crayons. Or maybe it is the hauntingly gentle glow that hovers on the mountains, the snow, and the water. Of course, it may be the peace that it brings me that is at the core of my belief. I believe in anything that can calm the mind and the spirit in an instant.

Sometimes I reflect on how all over the world, in places so far and foreign I cannot even conjure an image in my mind, the sun is gently guiding the earth along its way. On the evening of a particularly wonderful sunset I wonder if it was as beautiful on a small island on the other side of the globe, or in war-torn places scarred by violence and apathy. And if it was as beautiful that night, I wonder who was watching it. Did it take their breath away as it did mine? Maybe, for just a moment, they too felt the steady peace of a beautiful sky.

I am not a religious person. I do not even believe in god. But I understand how entire civilizations were created around a worship of the sun. From the ancient to the contemporary, those devoted to the practice of religion pray to the sun. It’s as if they, too believe in the steady, quiet movement of the sun. There is a need for man to believe in something. Some call it a “Higher Power”; others call it God, Jehovah or Allah. I suppose for me it is knowing that we all have one thing in common. For each of us, the sun will rise, and then it will quietly set. What we do in between to create peace is the meaning of a life well lived.