Sharing A Sunrise

sunrise (2)It started as a scratch in the sky.  The pre-dawn horizon hinted of a sun on its way with the faintest glow of orange streaked across a grey canvas.  This would be Principessa’s first sunrise viewing.  The two of us stole away quietly from the beach house where the rest of the family remained sleeping and uninterested.  Dressed for a morning chill, we drove to the shore with mutual giddiness.

“I have one request,” I told Principessa.  “We watch in silence.”  Agreeable to the plan, she snuggled closer to me in our blanket.

Gradually we were joined by groups of sunrise-seekers.  Admittedly, I wanted to hoard the sunrise for myself and my daughter.  But when at last the sun peaked up from the darkness and I heard a collective gasp of awe, I was glad for the shared experience.

On cue, hovering seagulls began a screeching chorus.  Like roosters, I thought.  Who knew?

Just moments before, I was antsy and eager with anticipation.  And now, as the sun progressed inch by inch in a steady, unstoppable path, I had the urge to halt time.  Tears of wonder overcame me as I grasped the ordinary miracle unfolding before me.  It was that powerful.

Principessa and I stared as long as we dared to until our vision was dotted with shadows in the imprint of the sun.  I broke my gaze when the sun turned from mellow orange to hot white.  Gone was the secret moment when one could steal a direct glance.  The brightness seemed to say, ‘Back up now.  I have to warm you all.  Go.  Get on with your day.’

When at last we spoke, Principessa remarked, “It makes me feel like I shouldn’t waste one single moment.  Like every second is a gift.”

Every day, without fail, without effort, the sun appears as the Earth bows toward it.  The Earth doesn’t get paid for rising the sun.  It doesn’t cost us anything.  It is the day’s gift – a gift mostly overlooked.  We take it for granted, thinking ourselves entitled.  ‘As sure as the sun will rise,’ we say.

Principessa and I  mull around, hesitant to to leave the moment behind.  And we discover this:

shadow art

Shadow Art

The post-dawn sun casts a long shadow in which Principessa and I form a heart – a fitting symbol of our magical morning.  We are humbled and content with the fact that our beloved sun – the one we own this day – will never leave us, even when we’re not paying attention.

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