Half way around the globe from my home in the San Francisco Bay Area, I found a village that knows how to wake up. In Seririt on Bali’s north coast, I stayed at retreat perched upon a hillside overlooking rice fields and the ocean. This was the perfect place to experience sunrise in Seririt, which was in one word: magnificent.
Imagine what your life would be like if each day began in a communal celebration. What if people, animals and nature participated in it? How would that affect how you experience the waking hours to follow?
At 5:00am in Seririt, the first men chanting can be heard in the distance. Their chants are low, long, and rolling in the moonlit darkness. By 6am, the first light is in the air. The chanting continues as birds begin to fly and roosters begin to sing. Like a symphony harmonizing, they prepare for morning’s ringing in.
As the outline of the sun peeks out where the hillside and ocean meet, the volume of nature tuning intensifies. The chant remains the deep bass. With the first rays of sunlight, birds streak through the air, chanting is in full sing, and roosters and dogs sound their cries, welcoming a new morning. As the sun continues its unique-to-the-day ascent, nature’s music softens and the creatures go on their way.
I think of our alarm clocks, rushed breakfasts, lines at Starbucks, and horns honking through traffic back home and how important a morning ritual can be for us as we start our day.
I notice that often times I grab for my phone to check email, news and social media as my waking action. In that reach is a desire to be connected. It is what stands in for what in Seririt would be my part in the vocal morning roll call.
On good days, I let the phone and email wait until after my own morning routine (a topic for a future blog). My days are better when I choose love in this way.
Sunrise in Seririt is another of life’s gentle reminders that how we wake up is important and to start with a celebration no less! Each day is a gift, and I can forget that at times. The wholeness of life, every experience, and every feeling is possible because the sun rises anew.
Faces of the Seririt Sunrise (soundtrack not included):