For the past week, this was my perch every morning.  Expresso cup (and camera) in hand, alone, or in the company of one or both of my little ones, while the Husband slept, I watched the sun rise.  Day after day, I was graced with the most stunning displays like the one below.

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Until one morning, I woke up before dawn and saw storm clouds in the distance.  As the sky lightened with the impending dawn, I realized that it wasn’t just storm clouds that were approaching – it was a storm.  You could literally see the rain teeming into the ocean.

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I will admit that I was a little disappointed by the prospect of rain on our vacation, but I decided to stay put and watch the show that nature was orchestrating.

And then, just a few minutes later, I adjusted my focus up from the rain to the sky above and saw this – a literal silver lining to the storm cloud.

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This of course got me thinking about life in general.  When we are deep in the midst of a storm, it’s hard to take our focus away from the storm.  But if we look up, beyond the immediate chaos of the storm, we might just see a silver lining.

While I took a break from writing daily intentions while we were away, I found the habit of watching the sunrise was equally, if not more, life affirming.  There is something so soul-touching about literally watching the start of a new day.  So, while watching the sun rise isn’t exactly possible where I live in the city, or given the early morning schedules that we have in our house, I am hoping to do my best to at least incorporate this little ritual into my life at some points along the way . . . until we can go back to paradise and take up where we left off.

I learned a lot more about myself on this vacation too, though.

I learned that I can’t sit still for very long . . . that I do love reading good novels (I made my way through several excellent ones and took a nice break from books of the self-help variety) .  . . that North Americans are far more uptight than our European counterparts when it comes to our kids (7:30 dinner with kids at home . . . no way . . . on vacation . . .absolutley. and they survived . . . and enjoyed it . . . and didn’t melt down) . . . that I can sit comfortably in a restaurant at lunch while wearing nothing more than a bikini and flip flops (when you’ve struggled with your body image for most of your life, this is a pretty big accomplishment) . . . that swimming with dolphins is slightly terrifying and definitely not what I would term “therapeutic” altho they are the most remarkable animals . . . and that there are some really amazing and interesting and wonderful people in this world, and I hope I get to see some of them again . . . oh . . . and I reaffirmed my love affair with champagne . . . because really, champagne tastes good at any hour of the day!