I used to read a lot of fantasy.
Druids and Warlocks, Dwarves and Faeries. Terry Goodkind or Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett or Robert Jordan - basically whatever I could get my hands on I'd consume as fast as my eyes could read.
There was one element I couldn't come to grips with through each series; Shades.
Spirits of man, captured in the netherworld between life and death. Called on for guidance but often causing more confusion than help in their convoluted, cryptic riddles. Their knowledge grew as centuries passed, trapped in the nothingness. Travelers would often wait for weeks until the few fragile moments before sunrise to ask a question, only to be ridiculed at breaking their somnambulance.
It's their elitist persona that stuck with me through the years, as if the Shades know the meaning of life, and if there's a way for us to bring that knowledge into our world; minus the attitude.
Sydney's beach culture is infectious. An hour before the sun rises the beaches are full of people exercising and enjoying the morning, over the years I've appreciated being among some of the friendliest and most positive people I've ever met. The beaches are well documented by dozens of local photographers, literally every morning it's hard to find a patch of sand or water without a camera pointing East towards the early morning glow.
Uge from Aquabumps, Brad and the crew from Frothers, Amaury, Sobo, Leeroy and Hirsty - to name just a few - have it well covered.
When I returned to Bondi in February after being in the desert for a few months, it was hard to keep away from the early morning buzz, and found myself thinking back to the Shades and that these morning people must have at least one part of life figured out.
Shades of Morning.