Morning walks for me are not just fun or even exercise, but deeply spiritual. These are moments when I take time to have conversations with God, reflect on things going on around me or in the world generally and also when I sometimes get new songs or ideas for an article or poem. That early morning cold wind, fresh smell of flowers and the beautiful symphony of chirping birds creates this feeling of life and bounce that is both creative and exhaling. It gets even more beautiful when the clouds decide to allow sunrise paint a perfect glow of gold art in the horizon. It’s always heaven on earth for me and one which is influential in my choice of wanting to have a Swahili architecture home at the coast. God willing.
As much as I love sunrise and sunset photos from any location, I love them more when I capture them at the Mombasa coast line or on the Giriama creek in Kilifi county. It’s all beauty and no beast for me.
Early February, my wife and I had a video project to shoot in Mombasa. It was such an opportunity for a visit and good early morning walk at the beach. Driving from Nairobi to Mombasa for more than ten hours in itself was fun. Driving through various landscapes and seeing wildlife along the trip was very beautiful.
The very next morning after we arrived in Mombasa, I walked to the beach as early as 6am with the hope of catching the sunrise as it shows up in the horizon. The day however had a different plan from mine. It was really hard getting something magical. The sun was blanketed by some huge dark clouds, so the sunrise was not pretty. But I met a few people who wanted me to take photos of them. One of them a visibly excited Indian journalist who writes for a Bahrain magazine and was have having his holidays in Mombasa. We had some chat about story writing, journalism and how to change the negative Afrikan narrative that is mostly in mainstream media. I took some photos of a young Kenyan couple who were at the beach doing what couples do on the beach. It was a simple moment and reminder that life is really about people, love, connection, what makes us humans, art in nature and the other beautiful things that can happen if we give goodness a chance in our midst. But in all of these, there is something important I would like to share, which is really the point of this article. It’s about why I do sunrise and sunset photography.
Sunrise and Sunset photography
Life is quite simple and straightforward if we humans allow natural principles to have their ways and if we are open to learn from the things around us. And by natural, I mean allowing what the Supreme Mind put in nature for our good, to thrive.
Personally, photography is one way I try to paint the things I see around me and what stories they tell even without voices. So I am reminded at all times both to see and appreciate both the beautiful and even the ugly things around me. But here is what sunrise and sunset really makes me see. It makes me envisage the mystery of life, death and the mercy of God that gives meaning to both.
Sunrise speaks of the rising of the new mercy of God that gives life to everything it touches in the morning and sunset is a reminder that no man will live forever on this planet earth and that the shadow of death/darkness after daylight, will blanket everyone at some point. It’s quite simple and straightforward.
Are we learning?
The way some people take life or treat others like garbage, you will think they have the buttons that they can just press to extend their lives or that they have photocopies of their lives in their wardrobes. One thing is certain though, that you are reading this article means that you have had your share of sunrise and are living the daytime of your existence. And as you do that, please be reminded that he who has tasted sunrise must also taste sunset. And that brings me to the question of “what have you learnt or what are you learning right now even as you go through your daytime and knowing that sunset in inevitable?” Think about it.
Some say life is short but I will say life is long especially if what you are doing right now can outlive you. So think about it. Everything we do in life has consequences, either positive or negative. So when next you see a sunrise and sunset, be reminded of what it is really about.
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Samuel Phillips is a writer, graphic designer, photographer, songwriter, singer and a lover of God. As an Afrikan content creator, he is passionate about creating a better image and positive narrative about Afrika and Afrikans. He is a true Afrikan who believes that the true potential of Afrika and Afrikans can manifest through God and accurate collaborations between Afrikans. Afrika is the land of kings, emperors, original wisdom, ancient civilizations, great men and women and not some road-side-aid-begging poor third world continent that the world finds joy in undermining.