My daughter coined the phrase first, her tiny hand tucked neatly in mine as we walked on the sidewalk near dusk. "Look, Mommy!" she squealed, her face glowing with excitement, "God made cotton candy skies!" My eyes turned upward as we stopped in our tracks, the view so breathtakingly beautiful all we could do was watch in hushed amazement as the colors swished and swirled against each other, a vivid masterpiece of brilliance that dissipated as quickly as it began.
Even though she was only five, her metaphor resonated with me and for more than a decade we have repeated the phrase each time we see a sunrise or sunset that shimmers with shades of pink, purple, and blue.
Cotton candy skies are rare as they only occur for a few moments and not shown every day. They are easy to miss if your focus is on other things. This morning as I was writing in the shadows of my living room, my attention was drawn from the words on my laptop to the window on my left. From the corner of the glass, I caught the darkened sky filling with layers of pink and knew the sun was starting to rise. Immediately the laptop was put aside as I raced to find shoes and a coat, unlocking the door to view the sunrise from the middle of my street.
This morning's sunrise was spectacular!
I started to take a picture then quickly realized it couldn't capture the magic of the moment. That's when I slid the bar from photo to video and tapped the button to record:
As I stood there staring at the incredible shades of light, I became hyperaware of the sights and sounds around me. I heard the birds chirping in the distance and saw leaves fluttering to the ground. I gazed at the bands of color stretching across the sky as the morning sun peeked through the distance.
There were no cars.
Just me with the cotton candy sky.
It was exactly what I needed to start my day.
This month Theresa Holloran has been sharing her insights from The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom, written by Dan Tricarico. It's been a joy to see her favorite sections of this book and her reflections on the passages. Today's post came from page 120: "Find your happy place. And then go there as often as you can."
Today I am thankful for the small moments that fill us with childlike wonder and fill our hearts with gratitude. I spent a few moments in my happy place and it completely transformed my day. How will you start yours?
As we transition into the holiday season and fill our calendars with activities and events, I challenge you to find your happy place.
Embrace the stillness.