With the Tiny Home Expo at the Hawkesbury starting today, Rick was up and out the door at 2am. That left me to do the early morning work drop off for one of our children.
I'm not much of a night driver, the glaring lights of oncoming cars is a bit disconcerting for me, so I usually opt out of the pre-dawn commute.
But today, as I drove back home, the sunrise over the valley was breathtaking. I had to stop and snap a picture, and just take it in for a few seconds.
The light breaking over the dark stillness, the fog nestled along the valley floor, the evolving colours and hues as the black of night welcomed the first rays.
And then when I got home and walked back into my room to get more appropriately dressed for the day (dressing gowns should be the new gym garb at the shops right?!!), beams of sunlight illuminated a portion of my bedroom wall and again, I was stopped in my tracks to take it in.
And it got me thinking about some of the discussions we are having at the moment about solar.
As good as the system of solar is with its panels and invertors and battery storage, we still rely on the sun to do its thing.
The panels are the receivers of the energy, and unless there is DIRECT sunlight hitting those panels for hours in a day, the energy transfer doesn't happen.
The invertors and batteries do their part too, but the success of the system all comes down to EXPOSURE to the sun. Direct light hitting the panels, not filtered through trees, not diluted by cloud. The receivers have to be positioned to be able to take in every kilowatt they can, we can't expect them to do more than they are designed for.
And then we have to adapt. Going off-grid means our lifestyle has to change. We cannot expect to live the same way as we did in our suburban home, connected to power at the touch of a button, simply plugging in a lead and using energy all day without another thought, taking long hot showers or baking for hours on a cloudy day.
It's a daily vigil, checking battery charge, accounting for energy usage, adapting to power output on overcast days, or days of rain that lower the backup storage availability.
The sun does its thing, and we have to do ours. Respecting the weather, working with the cycles and the seasons.
We can't live without light. It's essential for every living thing on this planet to survive.
And today, I appreciated anew the way our world operates, the system and design we live in and without us having to do anything, the sun rises every morning, bringing new hope, new life, new energy with it.