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.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

beginning of a pretty long day

sunrise:  4:49

Sutton Island

Maybe not the longest day of the year, but it was the beginning of a pretty long day.  And it was a fine one.

June 22nd, our first morning on Sutton this year, dawned in its usual, soul-stirring, peaceful brilliance.  I left the curtains open on our eastern-facing windows, so it wasn't difficult to meet the day, despite the early hour.  When that first crimson glow swells over the horizon, something flutters in my chest, and it's hard not to get up, and out, to feel the wind on my face and watch the daily silent splendor of our mother star rising over the ocean.

What a strange combination of steadiness, routine, and dazzling drama all rolled into one event.  And how strange to think that most of us sleep through this free exhibition every day.

It has been a lovely stretch of days with several of our children and their friends coming and going.  Of course, their presence pulls me from my solitary workings on writing projects, but I am getting better at finding my own rhythms and adapting to the varying pace of life, as family and friends flow in and out of our home like the rising and falling of the tide.

The island is an extraordinary tonic.  And there can be no better place to watch the sun come up.  What a reassuring moment - to witness this new beginning.  It can signal the commencement of inspiration, consolation, contemplation, whatever you need to set under way.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

earliest sunrise of the year

sunrise:  4:49
Daisies and the dawn

Some of you may already know that the summer solstice (June 21) is the longest day of the year, but not the earliest sunrise.  There's an explanation here.

I was up at 4:00 am in order to catch all of today's pre-dawn loveliness, before official sunrise at 4:49.  I am basking in the luxury of being able to sleep-in for most this June, but it was, as ever, a transcendently beautiful time of day and time of year for an early morning walk.

Since I'm posting so seldom nowadays, I hope you will enjoy my liberal posting of photos...

I left my three canine friends in the house today, in consideration for the neighbors who may not appreciate a baying hound at 5am.  But it was nice, in a way, for me as well.  Peaceful, lower intensity, with no OCD, stick-bearing, panting Kate assaulting me with entreaties to throw something.

There were several discoveries along the way.  Plant life is in its glory right now.  Lilacs have gone by, but the phlox is in full splendor, along with daisies, irises, clover, flowering trees whose name I forget, and berry bushes thick with blossoms that promise us some juicy breakfasts in the not-too-distant future.  I also love the variety and texture of so many grasses throughout the fields.

As I came around the back corner of our lot, I turned and literally gasped at the massive glowing disk of the moon, just about to disappear.  It looked full to me, but I read that it is the waning gibbous moon, with 99% still showing.  Full enough.

So preoccupied by the moon, looking over my shoulder for a final view through the trees, I didn't notice that I had company.  A white-tailed deer stood still as a statue until I was about 30 feet away, when I turned my head around to look ahead.  We had one second to ponder each other in surprise, then she gave a little snort of alarm, turned, and flicked her white tail as she bounded off into the woods.  Another good reason to have left the dogs behind.


I had a one-of-a-kind experience last weekend.  Though, perhaps it was only the first-of-a-kind that will continue.  I hope so!  I was a guest speaker at a conference in Stockbridge, Mass.  I spoke about Rachel Field and the doll about whom she wrote a historical novel in 1929.  "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years" went on to win the Newbery Award - first time a woman won.

Preparing for the talk (with my exceptionally generous and tech-savvy husband, who assembled the power point presentation), I immersed myself back into the mountains of archival data and notes that I assembled over the last three years.  My excitement to get this book written is back in full flame, and I am determined to make it happen SOON.  Coincidentally, I was asked to speak about Rachel Field again on August 10th, right out here on Great Cranberry Island near our summer house.  It seems that something in the fates is pressing upon me to keep after this book project.

It was especially gratifying to speak to a roomful of people (30-35 or so) all of whom are familiar with and great fans of Rachel Field.  So many of them effused over my material and "can't wait to read the book!"  That is positive pressure, and I'll try to make the most of it, even if they are the only 35 people who buy the book!

Meanwhile, I am also determined to get through the first year of my weekly column without missing a week, so I have my work cut out for me.


On the home front, T has a good job, is taking a summer physics class, and the three of us have survived the re-negotiation of household chemistry after her first year away at school.  S and N followed up their wild double graduation weekend with three weeks in Europe, and are now back stateside.  Neither has a job yet, and they are now plunging into the uncertain world of unemployment and unknown direction.  I hope, however, that they each approach this youthful stage with some sense of hopeful anticipation.

A is back on the east coast, ecstatic over her daily regimen in a charter school's teacher training fellowship in New York City this summer.

Life goes on, in all of its messy unpredictability.  At the moment, it looks like a very good day.