Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu
I love the sunrise and sunset. They are calming therapy for me. When I capture a beautiful one, I feel better the whole day. I feel like I own the world. So when I invited two of my childhood friends and Biboy, my photography student, to wake up at 4am for a shoot, I was met with sleepy disbelief by Cecil, whom I have known since seven in grade school. She and Lyn were sleeping for the night at home, in what we called our pajama party.
Having been lost in touch for a while, she was back here in the most turning point of my years as a photographer, something which she has not been acquainted with as much as my other personalities. She has grown up with the dancer, the cartoonist, the writer and poet, tinkered with the theatrical performance artist, the crazy prankster, the single mom, the sentimental fool, the computer geek, the has-been model, and the irresponsible dreamer. But she has not bonded a lot with the lenswoman.
Lyn, on the other hand, I’ve known since we were five, and has gotten used to my spur of the moment decisions. If I tell her we were leaving for a remote island now, she would excitedly pack and join me. Only one other person has that uncanny ability to willingly be dragged along by me, and Raquel is now living her own world and dreams in Saipan, miles away from me (come back, you fool).
The last time we were back here in my favorite spot was during an afternoon stroll, before Cecil decided to fly and live in a far off province to test the waters (oops, that wasn’t a bad allusion to the regular state of flooding there, I really meant she wanted to experience the way of life– never mind).
I told her to watch out for the beautiful sunrise, and to keep her eye on it because it will be gorgeous but short.
Concentrating at the horizon, I sat on the cemented floor and waited for skies to turn from baby pink and soft blue, until everything was covered with a golden hue, the clouds, the sea, even myself.
Cecil must have whispered to Lyn: “How often do you do this? And what does she do with the shots?” And Lyn may have naturally replied, “She keeps them.”
“Look!” I excitedly told both of them. The miracle of nature was right under our noses, one that’s been happening each day and being taken for granted. Sunrise was slowly peeping through the horizon right on schedule.
I asked Biboy to take my silhouette shots (I never leave without having them taken during these magic hours). I loved that first capture above. I asked them to pose for me, with the replica of Denmark’s Little Mermaid in direct hit of the sunrise.
Cecil was looking at the sunrise in a different light (kick me but I have to say it, here goes…), as if it suddenly “dawned on her”.
I told her no matter how many times I catch it, I always go away with a different high from my last capture. They are never the same, and are almost always beautiful. Even with “no-shows” on rainy days.
I wanted to tell her this is what I do when life gets me down and I struggle to keep my sanity. Sunrises and sunsets give me unwavering hope that tomorrow is a better day to look forward to. We must have this kind of faith to believe in our existence.
It seems I didn’t need to tell her anymore. When we were heading back for home, she simply looked at me and said, “Thank you.” It was filled with meaning. And I could still see the sunrise in her eyes.