It was the very start of September in the Midwest, and the oppressive temperatures had just begun to subside. Though it’s rare for me to find my way out of bed before an alarm, this particular morning unfolded differently. Perhaps it was the sweeter color of the light seeping in underneath the curtains, or the crisper air passing over my nose and shoulders, that beckoned me from that warm bed.
I crept from my bedroom down the hall, toward the sliding glass door at the back of the house where all of the sunlight floods in. Rounding the corner, I found that I had caught the morning light at just the right moment so that it angled through the glass, etching golden-white polygons across the wood floors.
Yes, I thought. Finally.
Years ago, when my body began to weaken, seeing the early rise of morning light became a thing of the past, and I soon came to forget altogether that it really is a different world out there before the sun has fully mounted in the sky. The greenery takes on a distinct orangey hue, the air feels lighter, and the critters hidden among the grasses and trees bellow their full-bodied choruses without regard for who might be listening.
It’s like all of creation exhales in unison—it’s first slow, rhythmic breath of morning, throbbing to life.
That early September morning, I slipped out the sliding glass door toward the orange light, sat down on the old wooden step, and sighed. The sounds of crickets and a distant rumbling train reverberated through the cooler, hollow air. The sunlight dove through cracks in the drooping leaves and branches that shaded the backyard. A swarm of gnats hovered near the treetops, illuminated by a single shaft of light.
It was nearly the start of fall, the start of September. That morning, in all its glory, was full of beginnings—the beginning of a season, the beginning of a time, the beginning of another ordinary day.
It had been some time since I had remembered to sit down and appreciate the sweetness—the sacredness—of beginnings.
More often, I overlook them, I rush through them, or I run from them. Yet beginnings color every inch and corner of our lives—the biggest ones, and the smallest ones too—and regardless of how daunting or how ordinary they may seem, every single one is a small miracle.
It’s a miracle that—every day—the earth keeps spinning. It’s a miracle that the sun sinks, that we’re encased in shadows, and that it rises again every morning with the promise and mercy of a new day, a clean slate. It’s a miracle that the seasons change like clockwork, that the stifling summer heat subsides just in time for crisp leaves and pumpkins, for cool evening walks and bonfires. It’s a miracle that an ordinary morning can take our breath away.
Beginnings take so many shapes in our lives. They are the feeling of the breeze before a storm rolls in, and they are the rainbow that follows the storm. They are the first smile on a new baby’s face, and they are the new taste of life after a diagnosis. These beginnings mark every new day, every change, every adventure, every goodbye, every sadness, every risk, every joy.
They’re everywhere—even though we rarely stop to notice.
One day, we’ll look back, and all we’ll see is our beginnings.
They’ll invade and flood our memories. We’ll begin to see everything in our lives colored by the moments they began, and we’ll realize that we never would have known how far we had come if we hadn’t known where we started from. Our beginnings are an undeniable part of our journeys. They are balm for our hearts and benchmarks for our souls.
May every new start remind us that our stories are still being written. And though not every beginning will be as joy-tinged as that hushed September morning, may each one still promise us that we’re moving forward. May each one whisper to us that we matter, and that we’re being carried somewhere.
May every single beginning become to us the tiny miracle that it is—a moment not to be forgotten, never to be forsaken.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).