A Thousand Ways to Draw the Sun

My husband woke up early so we could watch the sunrise together. It was a sweet and rare treat, because usually I rise early on my own to meditate and journal while he sleeps in. So we made some tea, braced the cold and together we watched the colours of night turn to a fresh young winter morning. It’s almost as if the sun burns the night way to make room for new life.

We didn’t get to see the sun rise up from the horizon like we did in the forest last year. The boundary wall and trees block the view. Instead, we watched the sky shift from indigo to crimson to gold and then to pale blue – gracefully, seamlessly transitioning into another beginning. I imagined the sun as a performer dancing passionately through each scene and the set around her changing with each act.

I draw the pictures of mornings and sunrises a lot. Not with pencils, but with my words. I often wonder if I’ll run out of ways to describe the sun. It is after all the same sun doing the same thing that it’s done every day since the beginning of time. But then that quiet voice inside me whispered: “There are a thousand ways to draw the sun. And then still a thousand more.”

I feel it must be true because each morning is different. The colours, the hues and the way I feel – all are in a constant state of flux. The pictures the sun creates and the way in which I experience the world willing itself to life is never exactly the same. That is part of the beauty of this wild life.

This makes me think of those early school days when we were asked to draw pictures of skies with suns and grass with flowers, those days when teachers were quick to remind us ‘that is not how the sun looks.’ Not the right colour or shape or size or angle. Just like that, a child’s connection to the world of imagination is shut down, their creativity discouraged. It’s sad.

I wonder how Oom (uncle) Johannes, a Griqua shaman, would draw a sun rising in the Karoo, knowing that it is part of the miracle he speaks of – drawing his soul out of night’s little death and into life’s gift of a new day? I wonder what shades of inner peace would shape the Dalai Lama’s image of the sun? How would you if you knew that there were more than a thousand ways to draw the sun?

The rules we create are imaginary. Inside we carry wells of inspired creativity and the potential to create unique and beautiful things. We can create and experience the world the way our wild essence guides us to. We have the right to. Sometimes I forget this. Fortunately, life patiently keeps awakening both new and old truths in my heart. I’m sure there must be a thousand ways to relearn the same lesson too.