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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

A Confluence of Conditions

A golden sunrise with boats in a harbor in Nova Scotia, Canada

If you've ever got up early hoping to catch a golden sunrise, you know that it's an elusive thing. If the morning is too overcast, the sun remains hidden and there's no sunrise. If there are no clouds at all, the rising sun will throw a nice color across the sky – but the color will be totally uniform and lacking the drama that makes us go “ooooh”.

For a beautiful sunrise to happen, we need just the right mix of conditions. We need enough clouds that the sun can peek through and light up the sky – but not so many clouds that the sun is shrouded.

Like everything else, a sunrise is a convergence of conditions, all joining together to create a phenomenon that we experience.

It’s like you being born. Or meeting your perfect soulmate. Think of all the factors that had to line up in order for those things to happen. As the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh observed, "This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not."

When you think about it that way, it’s hard to take a sunrise (or anything else) for granted.

Photographer's Footnote: This sunrise was photographed at the waterfront in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.


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