It’s 5:00 am in Durban, South Africa and a sunrise of red, orange, pink and purple hues bounces off of fractured clouds and is mirrored in the shimmering ocean and river below. A Hindu temple, not perceived as out of place for frequent travelers to Africa, sits on the thin peninsula across from me on the other side of two arching bridges that converge at its manicured grasses and long reflecting pool. A lonely palm tree waves at the end of the sliver of land, right before breakers that ooze out into the waves as rocks tumbling towards the great unknown.

The city skyline and new soccer stadium rise up, stretching their arms to the golden morning as the land they occupy curves around a bay that frames the purifying ocean. The city floats in the mist of a yawn while the stadium’s many cranes and supports appear as a giant singular hand bringing it into form in the crisp morning light. All manner of tropical birds are heralding the new day. Tweets, whistles, chirps, clicks, caws, shrills, shrieks, and whoo-hoos compete and harmonize in the multifarious instrumentation. A cool Pacific breeze ushers the flowing score through open windows of a room that overlooks the multi-sensory beauty of a morning that is resplendent Africa. I sip on my Five Roses tea as I try to take it all in.

The city is still somewhat asleep at this hour, with very few cars passing over the arched roadways. The tinkle of silverware being sorted below reminds me that I will once again eat this morning as early-rising workers prepare for breakfast service. Many in Africa, just beyond the beauty of this dawn, will not eat today.

And wonder if the sunrise is their last.