A continuation of the journey that began on January 1, 2010, recorded in "a year of getting up to meet the day." After 365 consecutive sunrise outings in that year, I couldn't bear to give up the dawn. This blog (no longer daily) will be informed and inspired by the rising light of the morning sun.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

reflections of a year

(Christmas cactus blooming, right on time)

It's hard to believe that almost a year has passed since I completed my year-long sunrise marathon.  Life is unfolding in a satisfactory way, and I deeply appreciate the occasional morning indulgence of lounging under the covers until 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning.

And yet...those days out in the morning sun left an indelible impression.  About once every week or two I feel a stir of longing for that quiet, anticipatory time of day, when the world hangs in suspension.  Everything and anything feels somehow, possible.

It's also a lot easier when the sun is rising at 7am...

(I like this look - the blaze of the sun is the heart, the core of this growing tree...)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

it's summer in patagonia

My daughter finished a semester in Argentina a year ago by traveling around Patagonia in December - the early days of summer in the southern hemisphere.  She just sent these photos of a mountain sunrise.

As we enter the darkest days of the year, I hope you all enjoy the promise of sunrise, and the growing light ahead.

And also - for some lighthearted joy, here is a link to a celebratory video that should make you smile:


Monday, December 12, 2011

moon over ice

Dec 11, 2011

Maybe it's the moon.  Maybe that feathery, fluttery feeling of anticipation is incited by the full moon's tugging at our insides.  In any case, it has been with me since about 5:00 yesterday evening.

I was visiting an artist's studio on a remote hilltop in Maine.  The sun was setting as we arrived, J. and I, and the vista was stunning - the sharp winter angles of sunset light, punctuated by lifelike outdoor sculptures of wildlife in motion, in bronze.

When I emerged an hour later from the studio and climbed a hill to the parking area, I found myself under a vast bowl of sky space - 360 degrees of twilight.  To the west, the final, deep orange dregs of sunset hung over the horizon.  To the east was the perfect white globe of a full moon rising.

I knew that I would see that same moon at the other end of its arc in the morning.  My 6am walk was long before the sun's arrival in this dark time of year.  The up side of that was that the moon's brilliance remained undiminished.  The dogs and I walked through a wash of milky moonlight casting shadows as we traversed the fields.

It just about took my breath away - the moon's gleaming path across new ice on the pond.  The back field, covered in a mosaic of snow patches, sparkled with captured moonlight.

You just never know how exquisite it might feel to get up for an early bus on a Sunday morning in December.

sun coming up, from the bus window--

Friday, December 2, 2011

sunrise at the end of november

Just a quick post to share some photos --

These are from November 30th.  The snow is gone; the pond has unfrozen, but it has a strangely thick and wobbly surface on ice cold mornings, almost like it's beginning to gel.  Could be my imagination at work...

I can't believe it has been almost a year since I completed my "year of getting up to meet the day."  Time barrels along, and I wonder why I haven't accomplished more.  Still - I've written 56 weekly columns.  Not too bad.

Now I just have to get that book in higher gear.  Rachel Field's life is moving forward on the page, but I wish it would emerge more quickly!

Happy December to all.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and a dragon

sunrise:  6:47

After several days of late nights and lazy sleep-ins, today's dawn arising was a challenge.  BUT - the morning is wonderful!  It's very nice to have the nudge of this idling blog to get me off to a good start.

Thanksgiving eve came with 8 inches of fresh snow.  Despite all my worries about travelers getting stuck or delayed or worse, everyone arrived on time and unscathed.  The worst driving was between here and the grocery store, which we managed without serious incident.

(this is actually an afternoon sun shot, but I couldn't resist including it)

What a lovely holiday, uncomplicated by religious affiliation or gift-giving.  My fervent hope is that Black Friday doesn't co-opt the Thanksgiving holiday any more than it already does.  It was an unsettling thing to hear a Canadian visitor's innocent statement about our Thanksgiving holiday two nights ago:

"What is Canadian Thanksgiving like?" someone asked her.

"It's just like American Thanksgiving, but without Black Friday."

Ugh!  It makes me want to initiate a movement to ban Black Friday.  Pretty soon people will be leaving Thanksgiving dinner in the dust so they can get a place in line outside of Walmart (in fact, I think it's already happening).

The premise of Thanksgiving is so worthy of preservation - friends and family gathering together, preparing food, sitting down to a shared meal, appreciating their good fortune.  What could be better than that?  Leave merchandise out of it, please!


We watched "How to Train Your Dragon" this weekend.  S and T had long since told us that the lead character dragon reminded them of our dog Kate.  I have to agree.  Here is Kate looking kind of like that black Night Fury dragon named "Toothless."

Monday, November 14, 2011

november sky

sunrise:  6:31

I have no explanation for the occasional periods of elation that overflow the banks of my internal reservoir. Someone wisely suggested once that I stop seeking an explanation, and just enjoy the flood.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

november scenery

sunrise:  7:18 ....  and tomorrow it will be 6:20!  don't forget to set your clocks.

Just a few photos from today's brisk November morning---

Here comes the sun...

I don't often get Clara, Guster, and Kate all in one frame.  Here they are.

Clara after a drink from the pond.  Notice the cattails gone to seed...

Cool hunk of wood.

Kate looking a bit dragon-like.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

occupy sunrise - 100%

Some of the best things about sunrise:

It costs nothing - 100% free.

It is available everywhere, to everyone, a global asset -- 100% inclusion.

Barring a world-ending super-nova, it will never run out - 100% dependable.

It instills serenity - 100% peace.

Like so many others, I have been trying to get a clear sense of this occupy movement, gaining momentum and rallying frustrated people together.

They are finding their way, and so far, it has been mostly a positive movement as far as I can see.  Frustrated people need an outlet.  With so many things awry in our society, hopelessness can become a poison, so this activism is a healthy response.  Keep it up, I say!  But...don't let it become infused by irrational bitterness.

There's one part of the occupy thing that doesn't sit well with me.  This whole "we are the 99%" thing doesn't feel quite right.  I bet that there are many of those 1%-ers who are thoroughly behind the occupy-ers.  They are happy to be taxed more, they give inordinate amounts of their wealth back to society, at the same time that their business interests are thriving and feeding the economy.

And I bet that there are plenty of people in the 80 to 99% group who belong in the category of those who misuse privilege and cheat the system, becoming richer at the expense of others.

Yes - let's go after big corporate corruption.  Yes - let's hold banks more accountable.  Yes -  go ahead and tax capital gains at a higher rate, and close loopholes that allow fat cats to pay no taxes.  But come up with a new rallying cry.  There are surely great allies to the occupy movement who are part of the 1%.  Let's not demonize our allies, or give others a free pass because they're below the 99th percentile.

If we let our focus get too honed in on some mythical 1% of the US population, those evildoers who are screwing the rest of the country, then the movement will go astray.

Our efforts should be to find what is fair and just and right for 100% of the people.  Part of finding that will mean correcting a bunch of things, so let's focus on the things - corporations, public policies, laws, state and federal taxation - not on individual people.

Here is something to reflect upon:

Occupy sunrise.  Stop every now and then, and be sure to think clearly.  Take a moment and embrace the entire 100%.  It is a better goal.

Monday, October 31, 2011

empty nest - chapter 2

Happy Halloween!

Snow on the ground did not deter trick-or-treating here in Maine, though we did not get hit by the degree of snowfall seen by much of the northeast.  Still, it was cold out this morning, and I decided to cheat and take my sunrise photos from indoors.

An interesting phenomenon is evolving in our household, dwindled down from 6 residents to 2 (plus three dogs).  The experience of the empty nest has proven to be a longer term process than we supposed.  Things happen in your life sometimes, and you don't really realize they are happening until you look back at them.

In our first year as empty-nesters, J and I were "in transition."  J expressed it succinctly today when we were catching up with some local teachers who came trick-or-treating with their baby.  They asked about us, about how the kids are doing etc.  Over the last year, I said, we were figuring out what to do in this new home dynamic - which is so lacking now in dynamism.

"We just sat around for a year," said my husband.

Over the last few weeks, we have been slowly emerging from our cocoon.  Time to rearrange the furniture!  We have cleared boxes and piles and clutter from several rooms.  It now covers every horizontal surface in the downstairs.  We've been brainstorming visions of what our house's new purpose will be over the next few years or more, and we have launched the metamorphosis.

Things being what they are, my suspicion is that we'll be walking around piles of debris for a few months, but at least we've moved from sitting around to messing around.  I think that's progress.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

sunup, sundown on an island in Maine

October 16th

sunrise:  6:49

The closing of the house can be a melancholy event, but J and I and the dogs had a lovely 36 hours putting the place to bed.  J replaced broken windows, we had time to clean and sweep and rearrange some furniture.  In the hopes of avoiding the yearly frozen pipes, we tried blowing a compressor through the plumbing, using an ingenious invention that J came up with.  We'll see how it goes.

It was a labor of love for a dear old friend, who will have to withstand some frigid nights and pernicious winter storms before we move back in next spring.  Maybe we'll even get out there to visit some time...

For the first time this year, I took notice of the shortened day.  Sunup to sundown is only a small percentage of our waking hours now.  To capture the whole experience, I decided to include photos from both ends of the day, October 16th, 2011.  Due to the horizon's sultry haze in the morning, I got some particularly eerie formations of light.

It's always hard to choose which photos to share.  There is pre-dawn, the sun's majestic arising, the play of waves, the morning light on land and water.  Then - the sun on its way to tomorrow, dipping below the horizon as we head for the ferry to take us home.  Unexpected artwork at the town shed.  Dogs on a windy pier.  Bear Island lighthouse in the evening glow.



end of the day...