“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
15 May 2016, Gold Coast
It’s Sunday morning and I’ve woken up on the Gold Coast, in the house of the A.F. family. I’m writing these words from their living room.
L. has been training for the G.C. marathon and joined a running group that meets regularly to train together. I was invited to join the Saturday morning training. It’s funny… I now call it Saturday morning, but 4.30am was always Friday night to me.
One the most surprising things about this morning was that at 5am (still pitch black), there were already hundreds of people exercising along the boardwalk. With ages ranging from 3 to 80, there were people cycling, running and walking. As soon as there was vague lighting, the first surfers came out (not many as it was very flat), together with stand-up paddlers and rowers. It’s an appealing lifestyle, built on a shared mindset and a mesmerising setting.
The run was a great experience – not only because of the coastline landscape but because running in a small group is motivating. L. was happy that I had come along and I was happy to be there. After 6-7 Km along the coast, unsurprisingly, my knee started to play tricks on me, so I headed back whilst they carried on. The sun hadn’t risen yet and I decided to stroll back by the beach.
I got to take a long walk, contemplating with each step how the moving sun changed everything. Meditated for a few minutes and upon opening my eyes, observed a world remanufactured by light. All along the way, people were cradling their coffee cups, whilst gazing on nature’s miracles coming to life.
I find dawn to be more empowering than dusk (both experiences are undoubtedly more magnificent with the ocean as part of the scenery). A sunset, in all its beauty, represents an end, but when the day is literally starting, its possibilities are limitless.
I have witnessed a few sunrises (most at the end of Friday nights) and hundreds of sunsets, watching my favourite star sink into the ocean. But when it rises from it, the experience is even more magical. Oh, the joys of having experienced life in eastern and western coasts – I should live in a little island to have both experiences every day. Or better yet, live in the little prince’s asteroid and experience sunsets and sunrises at will.
I grabbed my own caffeine fix and sat reading until the rest of the runners joined me. Everyone’s overjoyed with their training session, panting and sweating but with huge smiles on their faces. It wasn’t even 7.30am and they had already achieved so much in the day – I related.
If I have to put it in one word, I will say… fulfilment. By 7.30 I had already exercised by the beach, cultivated a relationship, watched the sun rise from the ocean, met affable strangers, swam in the ocean and drank my coffee whilst reading an interesting book.
The rest of the day was spent slowly and familiarly, covered in sand and salt, ingesting savoury meals, watching and hearing the kids play and having interesting conversations – it was a memorable day.
Let’s see what today holds. It’s getting brighter now and everyone else’s still sleeping. It’s time to go for a walk and witness more wonders.