09.08.2023 – If the sun rises without a Facebook post…

I suppose it is a variation on the tree falling in a forest question, and I have to ask it of myself:  If I don’t post a photo of it on social media, is the sunrise still beautiful?  If you follow me on social media, you know that many of my posts consist of various photos of the sun rising over our neighborhood when I am out for a morning walk.  The method behind my sunrise madness has something to do with providing an alternative to secondhand opinions left and right or Baby Boom nostalgia (yes, I remember when phones had dials and Mick Jagger was young).

But I also post those morning photos because the sunrises really are beautiful and the extrovert in me needs to let somebody know.

I thought I showed remarkable restraint when I did not post a photo of the sunrise earlier this week.  Not as spectacular as some, nevertheless it was beautiful, and, besides, now I get to post it here.  It would have been a beautiful sunrise even if I never posted a photo of it.

You can google the tree in the forest question and find more answers than you want. Scientists tend toward the “yes” side of things, so long as they can define “sound,” and philosophers seem to gravitate toward “maybe.”

As to whether the sunrise I watched earlier this week was beautiful even though I didn’t post a photo of it to my Instagram account, the answer is yes.  But as to a hypothetical deserted island with no eyes to behold the sunrise, I’d have to say I don’t think it would be beautiful. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you need some eyes to behold it.

Astrophysicists can explain what we call sunrise and meteorologists can explain the sometimes-spectacular colors of a sunrise.  A human eye unaided by research or references determines that the sunrise is beautiful. God created things that way.  David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, tell us,

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)

Beautiful sunrises (and eerie moonsets, for those who see my social media posts) are created to declare the glory of God.  Our eyes are created to behold the beauty of creation, to hear the heavens declare God’s glory.

I am looking forward to the morning walk whether or not it results in a social media post.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34:8)

Morning moonset a couple of weeks ago