Running To Catch The Sun

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The man literally burst forth, panting and shirtless…

He was in his fifties, deeply tanned, wearing only pajama bottoms. And, he was running, zigging and zagging in the sand. Trying desperately to stay upright as he sprinted to catch the object of his desire. From his hand, a camera dangled.

He needed to capture this. He needed to remember it.

He needed proof. It was that stunning.

And, yes I had to agree. It was.

5:58 a.m.Β  Not a person on the beach but the two of us. I, in deep meditation, he running, panting and clicking to save his life.

In the minutes preceding, the sky had slowly ambled its way from the blue-gray mist that hovered over the waves to a streaked palette of burnt oranges and yellows, deep purple, blue and pink seemed to blossom into mammoth clouded sprites from the ocean.

It was like watching Monet, himself, paint the sunrise.

All the while, the man, possessed, continued to run. He had to be at just the right place, seeming to know there was yet something even more extraordinary just moments away. He had to be there.

Then, it happened. And, I understood.

Through the corner of my eye, a deeper orange glow radiated from the water in a hazy, sphere-like shape. As it grew in the size, the man ran faster. He had to get to the water. specks of orange haze began to dance and glimmer on the waves, surfing their way into the shoreline and breaking apart in the foamy wash.

Finally, the man stopped, his jaw dropped.

There it was.

At the epicenter of the orange haze, where the glow met the water, a radiant speck of light began to emerge, streaming out in all directions. The sky lit up with color.Β  The shirtless man stood desperately changing camera angles. He needed to prove something so beautiful existed.

And, indeed, it did.

Within minutes, the glowing orb rose inches, then feet above the sea, welcoming with it all that betokens sunrise at the ocean. The mist began to soften, then blow away. The shirtless, once frantic man, now relaxed, his body lit by the same orange glow that, only moments before, rolled and played with the waves.

Pure magic.

And, it’s there for anyone to see, to be. You don’t need a camera. You don’t need proof. You don’t need to run shirtless in the morning.

You just need to sit. To pause long enough to realize it’s there. All the time. Every morning. Every moment.

If we’d only stop to see it.

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35 responses

35 responses to “Running To Catch The Sun”

  1. […] Go to the author’s original blog: Running To Catch The Sun […]

  2. Yes, abundance is everywhere, every moment, in every aspect of our lives. What a shame we’re too busy to embrace it.

  3. James says:

    Moments like this are all around us if we take a moment to engage. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. Beautiful, Jonathan.
    Nice to see some “real” writing in the sea of copywriting, advertorials, and pitches that floats us all along daily online.
    (and once again with the pic, too.)

  5. Cheryl says:

    Beautiful post. One I definitely need to print out and put somewhere I’ll remember to read it, again and again.

    You reminded me that when I started back to school, I was going to take my books to the beach and read until the sun set. A month in, and, I’ve yet to do it even though it’s been glorious here in So Cal. I am going to put it into this week’s agenda…and bring along my camera πŸ™‚ Thanks for re-inspiring me.

  6. Jess says:

    This is beautifully written. Thank you.

  7. Jennifer R says:

    I just loved this piece. Your writing – so beautifully done, had me right on that beach with you.
    Thank you.

  8. riva says:

    Jonathan, can you tell us where you stay in Long Beach. It sounds like a great getaway from the city. Thanks!

  9. Nickey, VA says:

    What a fantastic writing style you have. Sunrises are my favorite things to watch and every time I’m at the shore I get up when it’s dark and go to the water’s edge and wait for the most beautiful show in the world. And you verbalized it so well.

  10. Yelimar says:

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder! This entry definitely came from the heart :). You could not have chosen better words. I am inspired to treat myself to this experience soon!

  11. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Everyone – thanks so much for your kind words. Like I shared in my last post, sometimes you just need to share something you never anticipated.

    Writing this also reminded me that one of the things that makes me happy is not just being a blogger, but being a writer. Crafting language, rather than conveying information.

    Which just gave me an idea for a new post next week.

    Stay tuned…

  12. Really beautiful post Jonathan. I could totally see the two of you and that scene. I am an avid photographer so I probably would have been the guy running and sweating with the camera, but I like the mental image of you all zen like though. I aspire to be like that, which is why sometimes I leave the camera at home.

    πŸ™‚ Kelly

  13. […] interested are experts in many of the things they are interested in. You wouldn’t call Jonathan Fields a master of none, would […]

  14. Martin says:

    Mmm, enjoy the moment. Life is beautiful, even without gadgets.

  15. Justin says:

    That’s the first time I’ve seen you write about something not marketing related; I guess I don’t read this blog enough. Very interesting post, didn’t see it coming.

  16. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Riva – oops, totally blew off your question. Long Beach Island is a great escape from NYC, because its only about 2 1/2 hours away and it’s sooo casual. You pretty much never have to wear shoes, which I love. We’ve stayed all over the place, but if you have kids, staying closer to the Beach Haven area on the South side of the island works best, because there’s a lot more for them to do there. πŸ™‚

  17. Virginia says:

    Wow. I have been away from the beach for what feels like an eternity. This piece reminded me that even while I am on a mountain in Korea, the sun still rises and the shores still ebb and flow. It also reminded me that there is so much beauty around us, as I am noticing more here in the land of the ‘morning calm’. Thanks for sharing this!!

  18. shelley adelle says:

    Just ran home to meet the cable guy, who is late, and I sat down with a chip in one hand, a beverage in the other, sorting through emails, forgetting to breathe, and then two things happend; I heard a child laugh and I saw the photo to your post.

    Deep breath in; Full gentle sigh…..

    After reading it through I realized I hadn’t been breathing OR living in the moment.

    My daddy would say that God “boinked” me on the head- gave me a good thump to remind me to pay attention and knock it (the craziness) off!!!


    Going to call my dad now and tell him I love him


  19. Naomi Niles says:

    I love this post. Thanks for sharing it with us! It’s a great reminder that we need to just relax and enjoy what we have in front of us.

  20. Jon says:

    I’ve had a really stressful week, got WAY behind in my RSS reading and sat down with the intention of just deleting all 600+ items.

    For some reason, probably just sheets and greens I decided to read this first.

    Good thing I did, and good thing you did, and yeah, I guess I’ll just stay tuned….

  21. Beautifully written Jonathan. Thanks for reminding us of the beauty so free and accessible to us all, everyday.

  22. Beautiful post and picture Jonathan! Yes, bliss is always there for the taking, peace just waiting for us to see it.

    I actually could relate to both sides of this. I have been meditating daily for almost 30 years, but I am also on an open ended world tour which has turned me into a photographer and writer.

    Some days I enjoy the chase of the perfect photo, ala “celebrating what is good about life” and sometimes I am still and keep them all to myself.

    It is all good! Lately I have been relishing the perfection of Swedish summer sunsets that I view from my 1800’s cottage in the countryside. πŸ˜‰

  23. […] Running to catch the sun […]

  24. Last time we went to Kauai we got up early every morning, made coffee (Kona of course), and sat on the lanai to watch the sunrise. Each evening we filled the blender with exotic fruits and island rum, mixed up a drink and stood on the lanai to watch the sunset.

    Conclusion: There is only one artist of that magnitude – each one was a masterpiece.

  25. Karen Putz says:

    Love this post, Jonathan. I awoke early this morning and took in the mist hovering over the lake. No one else was awake. It was a moment of quiet reflection. I need more of those in my life. πŸ™‚

  26. Billy says:

    I love how you put such significance on the fact that he was shirtless. Seems like that was something that really stood out to you. Was he a hunk of hunk, Jonathan? πŸ˜‰

  27. Laurie says:


    It’s amazing what we can see if we slow our lives down to notice. There is beauty all around us. God’s glory is present in the beauty of his creation. We seem to buzz right past the natural beauty of this world while stopping to see the horrors. How sad….
    Being still to find the beauty outside ourselves often is internalized and we feel the beauty within our souls.

  28. […] because of a comment that blogger and author of Internet Riches, Scott Fox, left on my post about running to catch the sun last week. He shared: Nice to see some β€œreal” writing in the sea of copywriting, advertorials, […]

  29. Rachel says:

    Lovely post. I’m so glad I read it. You do have a nice way of painting a picture with your words Jonathon.

    The only question is, how do you know the man was not enjoying the moment just as much as you were? Just in his own way. I wouldn’t think seeing something through a camera lens would be near as wonderful as sitting still and looking with ones own eyes at it. But maybe it was as meaningful for him in all his freneticness as it was for you in your stillness.

    My husband is a painter and he is never so happy and in the moment as when he is some place breath taking WITH his camera. He is pure zen in those moments. He’s beside himself in the awe of it, and while not running in his jammies, he’s likely to be knee deep in a streem in his jeans.

  30. Rachel says:

    Sorry, I think I spelled your name wrong. My bad.

  31. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Rachel – good question, the truth is that I have no idea what was going on in the man’s mind. But, it took me back to one of my posts a few months ago about how many bands were complaining about fans recording concerts on their cell phones. Not because they didnt want to be ripped off, but because they felt it took them out of the pure experience. And, the comments to that posts echoed strong support for that claim in daily life.

    We all have to take in experiences in the way that’s most meaningful to us. Sometimes that’s unfiltered immersion. Other times, it’s by blending the expression of a second “stimulus processing” passion into the experience.

  32. Rachel says:

    I am hearing you and actually agree almost completely. I still have to ask us both the question though – who’s to say what an unfiltered immersion is? I mean the band filters their music through synthesizer to get a “kind” of sound. Filtered sound. We are always filitering.

    Me, in that same moment on the beach would likely be much more awair than you or the running man, of the SOUND of the waves than of the rising sun.

    Thanks for engaging in the question.

  33. Virginia says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post a lot. Looking at the picture of the beach, I felt that when I DID live on the beach I took moments like these for granted. It made me think: if in a year from now, someone posted a picture of a beautiful Korean Buddhist temple on a quiet mountain, would I look at it with that same feeling of awe and regret? This post has helped me to remember the “snapshots” of beauty that are around me everyday. My lens, or my eyes, or my pen… it’s captured. Thanks again for the reminder.

  34. […] Running to Catch the Sun […]

  35. Rose says:

    Beautiful post! Thank you for the reminder to pause and look at the beauty around us. (Saw your link on Liz’s birthday post.)