Living by light

What time did the sun rise today? When will the sun set? I often do not consider the answers to these questions. The sun is either up or it is dark, it is a little cold or it is tepid (in the UK anyway).

Last week, I decided to pay more attention to the rhythms of nature. After all, I am a part of nature and these cycles profoundly affect me. I based my routine around this. I woke up around sunrise at 4.30 and went to bed at sunset around 8.30, the times changing as the days lengthened.

To my surprise, I started waking before sunrise so I was out walking when the sun peeped above the horizon. This is a routine I now continue to try and follow. I may not always be up at 4.30 but it feels good to consider when the sun is rising and to feel gratitude for the rhythms of life.

Andrew Scriven

Andrew Scriven

"Creative expression is born out of a connection to the moment, seeing the beauty of it and finding ways to share it."

My best friend recently joined me on this planet. She arrived with the gift of unconditional love. The birth of my daughter shifted my reality profoundly…my nagging desire to explore the earth faded. In its place, the question of what it is to be human arose. What it is to live. What it is to love.

I have always enjoyed the isolation and serenity of wild open spaces, finding peace and connecting to the natural world. Though outside of these quiet environments, I have been aware of a general discomfort inside of me. I now identify that discomfort as fear. Fear of death, fear of failing, fear of things I know and those I don’t. I wondered whether being human just meant being consumed by fear. It is broadcast all around us, in newspapers, on TV, in conversation. It was engulfing. 

I recently made a conscious decision to try to alter my reality, seeking to replicate the feelings of connection I associate with natural environments, in all places I inhabit. This meant delving deep inside of me to better understand myself. 

A little while back I was asked to present a talk on street photography I decided I would photograph the urban area in the same way I photographed lions in the Serengeti, polar bears in the Arctic and whales in the Antarctic. So I meditated. I went out with my camera and sought to feel beauty. I started to see the world in two tones - love and fear. 

For the first time in my life, I feel content to live where I was born – the great metropolis of London. I see beauty and opportunity in a way I could not before. I like to listen to people as they talk. I enjoy watching the flow of the world around me. I feel free. Despite the environment of fear, pockets of resistance (love) can be found everywhere.  I am grateful to my daughter for opening my heart.