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.


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...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

vermont sunrise - Gile Mountain

Many thanks for the first guest sunrise submission in a long time.  These exquisite photos were taken on October 8th (or thereabouts) from a tower on top of Gile Mountain (more of a hill, reports the photographer) in Vermont.

Monday, October 10, 2011

october light, october dark

sunrise: 6:44

I walked beyond the pink pre-dawn glow in my own back yard today,

left the dogs behind,

went into the woods, along the steep ravine, 

and visited a neighbor's dock on the Penobscot River.  

What an amazing contrast to my own home's vista, just a few hundred yards away.  Today, at mid-tide, it was still as glass.  Could have been a lake.  The light was incredibly soft, like an oil painting.  The owner of the dock is an artist, in fact, with oil paintings all over his walls.  

(I like this one -  it looks like a small man is contemplating the water)

There is a long, steep bank above this side of the river, so we're in a bit of a gully, even though it doesn't feel like it from the water's edge.  The sun didn't appear until 28 minutes past official dawn (as opposed to 8 minutes past in my yard).

People always talk about the autumn light - how distinct, how beautiful the fiery glow in sky, tree, and field, how different the light feels in the cool air and sharper angles of the sun.  The other day, as it grew dark at around 6:00, I noticed the way it grew dark.  The darkness was different as well, like the light.  There is something more sudden, more thoroughly enfolding about the autumn darkness.  It is an embrace of darkening, and has a sense of finality about it that's different from summer dark.  I like it.

Check it out.  I wonder if you can see what I mean.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

writer's guide by nike

sunrise:  6:39

Just do it.

Nike's famous advertising slogan works for almost any challenge in life (the rest would probably fit in the "just don't do it" category).  In the world of writing, those three words have become my mantra.  I find myself saying them over and over again in my mind when I am in a procrastinatory spiral.

Getting up for sunrise is a start - first battle won.  Many other clamoring phrases try to drown out "just do it," like, "I'm tired." "My head hurts." "I think I'm getting a cold." "I'll do it tomorrow."  "Ugh."  But on this morning, the motivator won out.  I'm thinking of the story about the writer who tied himself to his chair.  I'm not the only one contending with a wayward, wandering drive.

"Just do it" can be kind of irritating... like it's close cousin, "don't worry, be happy."  It sounds flippantly simplistic, and is so difficult to apply.  But - there's the truth of it.  That is, in the end, the only way we can ever make anything happen - just do it.

Good luck.


 Yesterday the air took a dramatic downturn in temperature.  I drove home from the grocery store in a deluge of hail that carpeted the back steps when I got home.

Frost covers the morning grass, and that lovely October light reigns.

And this is just a weird picture I took while driving through Bangor the other day.  Even before I saw "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" this week, this scene reminded me of a bunch of primates climbing around the inside of a cage.  It is actually just a sign of the end of summer in Bangor.  A work crew is disassembling the staging for the music productions that took place on the waterfront all summer, through September.  But it is strangely chilling, somehow.  You should go see that movie.