Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Best Part of Each Day

A friend who rises early to paint each morning’s sunrise inspired me to capture photos of Merry Old Sol’s first peek over the horizon for the last year. I’m not as diligent as Debbie is at capturing every dawn, but I’ve seen enough now to make some observations.

Some mornings are not remarkable, but it’s worth getting up early to check. Sometimes I spy lingering stars fading from night’s canvas and make a wish or two to begin the day. Morning moons are softer and gentler than they were a few hours earlier. They’re a nice reminder that time softens hard edges and feelings. Always, always there’s a bird singing. Even when dawn begins in grays, happy trills and coffee make everything right. 

Some sunrises are a flashing neon message from God that I’m in the middle of a wonderful blessing. Usually a scarlet or deep apricot color infuses blues and lavenders. Then a brilliant glow backlights one cloud or several so it looks like a special effects artist is working overtime with a neon paintbrush. At this point, the effects can develop in several ways.

Sometimes those scarlet or apricot tinges bleed slowly outward into gesturing fingers. When this occurs, I’m reminded of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey where he repeatedly refers to the rosy fingers of dawn or dawn’s rosy fingers. Over two thousand years ago, Greek sailors enjoyed the same kinds of sunrises that dazzle me. The world has changed in so many ways, but dawn’s early light still works its magic on those of us willing to get up to see the display.

Other mornings, it’s as if the sky explodes. There’s no slow, gentle bleeding of color or light. It’s a nuclear flash of brilliance, and the day has begun. It’s a no-turning-back, continue-charging-forth moment that gets adrenaline pumping and hearts singing.

On rare occasions, morning light manifests itself in odd little peep shows. One of those occurred last week. In general, the sky was gray with bits of buttery gentle light peeping through every now and then.  Suddenly, a tiny square of orange ripped its way onto the stage and directed itself on an old farmstead in its path. I kept expecting more light, but it seemed content to shine through like a flame glowing behind isinglass.

We’ve all seen movie sunrises where celestial music plays as clearly defined rays break and spread over the horizon like a giant crown. When I’m outside watching those displays, I’m always disappointed that I hear only birds or crickets. It seems an orchestra ought to perform so loudly no one could sleep through it. I saw one of those sunrises last week as well and turned the radio down just in case I was missing angel music.

Not everyone is a morning person, but I’m sure a few weeks of watching dawn arrive in the eastern sky might convince a few slow risers to enjoy a front row seat to see the best part of the day.

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