I love sunrises in Malta, probably even more than sunsets, but I get to experience them much, much less (I am not a morning person). In September the sunrises at around 6:43 in Malta so I managed to set my alarm for 6:00AM, get out the door for about 6:20AM and get to Surfside, just in time to see the sky catch alight before the sun began to peek out from the sea across the horizon. I love sunrises in Malta the most as they happen at such a peaceful hour. It feels like there is a blanket of quiet, that only the chirping birds can penetrate. The sky goes from a deep, dusky navy hue to a watercolour blue in no time at all and then, out of nowhere, it turns a bloody red, just before the sun shows it’s face. I’ve said this before but it’s almost like it’s too intense for such a calm, quiet time of the day. The colours are screaming loud, demanding to be seen, to be loved.
If you get there on time, you’ll be lucky enough to see the watercolours start to intensify and the pale pinks and baby blues transform into a deep sienna orange and a burnt umber reddish brown. At one point, once the sun is fully up, just sitting atop the water, the whole world seems to turn a deep, bloody red. The colours are such that you would think that they felt sinister or menacing and they certainly smash the calmness of the morning but they feel nothing but reassuring. Whatever awful things are going on in your life, or in the world at large, nature is always beautiful, solid, dependable.
There is a row of man made rockpools along the waterfront near Surfside in Sliema. Small square shapes cut into the rock, each with their own set of steps to get in. They are designed so the waves break just before reaching them, so they’re always full, but calm. I hear that back in Victorian times, each of these pools had it’s own little hut above it, with walls to allow the women to bathe in privacy. In those days Malta was just as hot but even a bare ankle was cause for uproar so imagine how important it must have been for these women to have the chance to cool off in the water without causing a scandal.
This time of day is so peaceful, even with the symphony of colours exploding in the sky. Down on the water’s edge there wasn’t another soul around, apart from the birds, circling just over head, stretching their wings, and warming up their signing voices. The water rippled gently. I always descrive it the same way, like molten lava or liquid metal. It glows golden and metallic like. The waves quietly breaking on the rocks provides a calming soundtrack to the morning.
I was struck by the varying texture of the waters. The tiny ripples that crisscrossed the open waters, making it appear incredibly mobile even when almost completely calm, contrasting with the complete stillness of the pools more in land. They were as flat as glass, with the occasional movement that was long and much smoother than the water further out.
How easy it is to get so angry, be so moved and react so passionately to the little things that happen during the day. A look, a comment, a torn item of clothing, a broken nail. I was struck by how calming this intense morning experience was and how much we could all benefit from caring less about the small things and taking more time to appreciate the big things, because nature, the universe, our place in the galaxy, those things that cause the sunrise to be what it is, those are the big things. The things that really matter.