By Randy Pierce
Lisa Berman is a college friend with whom I have been very fortunate to reconnect a “few” years since our UNH days. Along with her friendship has come a dedicated support of 2020 Vision Quest through our School programs and our Peak Potential Dinner Auction which she attends and to which she donates some of her incredible work. This year’s donation is a particularly amazing piece sure to capture the attention of our event guests! When I asked Lisa to share with me the story of her inspiration it was too good not to share with our community as this week’s inspiring Guest Blog. Thank you, Lisa!
By Lisa Berman
In 2011, I set an intention to visit the beach every Saturday to photograph the sunrise. Of course it was winter with the sun rising around 7AM. Easy enough! I remember being burdened with work and family responsibilities. It was a challenging time for our family. It was a difficult time for me. As a mental health clinician and life coach, I knew changes were needed that would build in time for self-care, quiet time, me time, and moments of reflection. Saturday morning before the family was awake and the obligations of the day began seemed a perfect time for my new endeavor.
Every Saturday I bundled up and made my way to the beach. I braved the cold–some mornings were brutal! Some mornings the sky was heavy with clouds, and a sunrise seemed impossible. I was steadfast in my commitment to go to the water’s edge hoping that the sun would be there in all of its fullness at the distant horizon, before it rose to be hidden by the cloud cover. Sometimes I was greeted by rain and a barren beach. Other times the sun greeted the new day with pink, orange, and red against a gray sky, or the glimmer of red that shone through a heavy cloud cover. For me this confirmed that even in our darkest moments there is hope and the promise of a new day. Of course there were plenty of days where the sunrise was magnificent.
I was dedicated to the intention of a year of photographing sunrises and found peace and contentment in this time of solitude. It was a moment of reflection and an opportunity for gratitude.
Then summer was upon us and this early riser had to rise even earlier. Not an easy task! The beauty was I no longer needed to bundle up in layer upon layer of winter clothing, boots, and hand warmers. And when I arrived home to a still peaceful home, I could putter in the garden. The summer sun is bold and bright; it warms the day and warms the soul. It seemed that many a summer day there was no cloud cover to make for interesting skies. The beauty of these mornings was the sun’s reflection on the water and sand at low tide.
Before I even realized, a year had passed. I had followed the sun as it moved north along the coast and then back to where it began at the start of my journey. I had successfully navigated the seasons and all they had to offer. I came to recognize that it was the cloud cover and the bitter cold that made for some of the most impressive sunrises. As in life it is the darkness, the challenges that make the good time so much sweeter. As I reflected on the year I realized that in my efforts to reclaim my sense of peace and hope this intention set in motion a sunrise of a different sort. Life was less challenging. There was a new sense of hope and contentment. My desire and drive to continue my trips to the beach grew stronger.
Three and half years later I still venture to the beach on a weekly basis. I marvel at the changes in the shoreline. The sand and the rocks move and the landscape is different every day. The tide changes. Some days there is very little beach to roam on and other days the beach is vast with lots to explore. I am in awe at the way the colors play against one another. The pinks, oranges, and reds of the sunrise contrast with the blues, greens, and white of the water. I am still amazed by the beauty of a sunrise and grateful for its promise of the new day.