10 lessons I learned from a sunrise…


30/11/2013 by Sarah Ritchie

20 October 2013 sunrise

20 October 2013

“While You Were Sleeping” – my spring 2013 photo essay – is now finished. You can read the background behind the project, and see all 91 sunrises, here.

Auckland sunrises

After photographing the Auckland sunrise every day during the spring season, what does completing the project really mean?

Tangibly, it means that I can reclaim my sleep ins on weekends, and no longer have to schedule my walking times around the sunrise timetable. Intangibly it means far more.

This project gifted to me many stunning visual experiences. I found a new purpose for my morning walks. I learned to stop and look, instead of walking quickly by. I learned about the movement of the sun, and that you can’t always control things the way you wish to.

On an even deeper level the 91 sunrises offered me a special glimpse behind the clouds:

  1. Not every day is going to be pretty…
  2. …but even stormy days can be beautiful.
  3. It’s the same sky, but every single day is unique.
  4. The sun will follow the rain, we just have to be patient.
  5. The early bird catches the sunrise – the beauty and promise that few others bother to see.
  6. The sun is guaranteed to rise – it’s up to us to seize the opportunity.
  7. Even if it is an overcast day, you know that the sun is always just behind the clouds.
  8. The sky is bigger than the horizon line.
  9. The sky is not always blue.
  10. Arrive just 5 minutes late and the moment is gone. Wait 5 minutes longer and a new moment will arrive.

5 thoughts on “10 lessons I learned from a sunrise…

  1. Max Reynolds says:

    Your photos and blog are great. I couldn’t agree more. It’s always good to see a fellow sunrise followers perspective of it. Thanks for sharing it. -Max-

    • Isn’t early morning great?! So many folks miss out on the benefits that still, peaceful, fresh morning air can bring. Glad you think so too! Thanks for visiting my blog too, Max.

  2. kd0602 says:

    I love the idea of capturing something on a regular basis–the “practice” of sticking with something over time, even when it is inconvenient. I love your photos…and your commitment! Thanks for sharing your photo essay.


    • Cheers Kim!
      It’s also really lovely to look at things “en masse”. All the photos of the sunrise, together, tell a slightly different story to one sunrise on its own. It’s via the commitment we gain that second story, which is encouraging!

  3. beatzkane says:

    Reblogged this on Beatz kane Blog 143.

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Sarah Ritchie
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while you were sleeping

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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
Exhibitor, The Original Art Sale 2011


© Sarah Ritchie 2014

Please do not use copies of my original artwork for profit, however you are welcome to share my artwork images as much as you like!

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