At First Light

eric mccarty
2 min readMar 28, 2023
At First Light — Headless Now — Prose Poem — Sunlight — Moca McCarty Photo

At first light:

at first light, with dawn just past the hint of day and sun now giving rise — this is the time to be outside, if only for a short walk or a few breaths of morning air. Research shows the many benefits of this practice, that it has a profoundly positive effect on health and overall well being. Exposure to early morning light is the first step towards our later sleep that night, it’s a process that begins with sunlight entering our eyes and every cell responding to this joy. Literally, the brain fires up, trillions of cells throughout the body perform their own version of sun salutation, it’s a yoga of light and mind. Science calls this photobiomodulation, a chemical reaction triggered at first light and its effects carry all the way through to that last moment when we close our eyes to the ending of the day.

this first light is sending us a message, stirring the brain to produce the proper hormones for the coming day, suppressing melatonin production for favor of cortisol and serotonin. This is reversed as evening approaches, the raw material of serotonin is converted to melatonin and prepares us to sleep once more. There is such great wisdom of body and nature here, their complete function displayed, how everything responds to the seamless structure of life’s endless rhythm.

our mood and health as well are affected by first light, everything’s enhanced, from our immune system to simply being happier, and so much more that’s too countless to mention. It’s what we were meant to do, rising early, grateful for the day at hand and basking in what sunlight offers. In truth, this is a form of prayer, holy, a communion of source material and the very cells of our body. We rejoice in this touch, gently so, by morning walk or simply a moment of thankful recognition.

at first light…

our soul awakens.


Peace, Eric



eric mccarty

Writer, prose poetry, meditation teacher and lifetime student