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, April 30, 2012

teenagers and sunrise

sunrise:  5:26 am

Four teens joined us on Sutton Island this weekend for a retreat - part of the "Coming of Age" program that Jonathan and I have been teaching since January.  It is an excellent curriculum published by the Unitarian Universalist church.

We have learned a lot about "teaching" adolescents in the course of this experience.  You would think that we'd know most of it at this point, having barely finished seeing the last of our four children leave adolescence (mostly) behind.  But, happily, life is ever bristling with information.  We will never get it all right.  We can only keep trying, keep thinking, stay open to possibilities heretofore unconsidered.

At any rate, after repeating ourselves 100 times, and realizing that so much of the INFORMATION that we were spouting might as well have been water through a sieve - we realized that the things the kids remember most are dynamic and circumstantial.  The rousing game of bucket-of-nouns that we played at our first retreat stuck with them far longer than the definitions of a personal credo.

Still - this is a bright group.  The bits and pieces of discussion found places in the nooks and crannies of their minds, and they will surely emerge in various forms of recognition later in life (maybe even sooner).  For now - Jonathan and I learned that to engage them in activities and have some fun is, perhaps, the most important thing of all.  Suddenly everyone is laughing together around a card table.   Learning that you can share that companionship with a bunch of new people is as important as anything.

Now, I'm not going to say that they all embraced the idea of getting out of bed at 5:00 in the morning when it was about 40 degrees outside (and inside - fireplace was long cold).  But - they did it.  They got up, they went out to the rocks, they saw the sun glow rising, and the fire of the first light making its brilliant entry over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

We didn't belabor the point, or try to draw them into my own romantic imagery of meeting the day face to face with the sun.  But I think it made an impression.  We can afford to be patient - something will come of it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

launching one's heart

This is a dated sunrise.  After her three month stint in California, learning about screenwriting, film, music, living on her own, managing quirky personalities, and driving in Los Angeles traffic, T ended her stay with a trip to San Francisco.  She sent me this shot of the western sunrise glow, reflected from the eastern dawn, out the window of our friend's apartment in that city.

My dear youngest child then returned home for a few fleeting weeks, to the opposite coast.  Yesterday, J and I brought her to her new home for the next 6 months - a 90 foot fishing-trawler-turned-ecotourism-vessel called the Wanderbird.  She interviewed and was hired last fall to become one of their small crew at the start of their spring/summer season.

One problem for me is that I seem to have become rather attached to my daughter, who has grown to be such a thought-filled, interesting, and charming companion.  I am experiencing some physiologic symptoms of grief in her absence.  I'm sure all of the unknowns of her sea adventure create some anxious fretting in my mother's heart, but I think most of my stomach knots are simply an ache of missing her company.

Fair winds and a following sea, my friend, my daughter---

Monday, April 9, 2012

figurative bursts of sunlight

sunrise:  6:01

My first burst of sunlight was T's return from California on Wednesday.  J had been out there with her for her last few days in LA, so I experienced my longest stretch ever living in an empty house (empty of humans, anyway).  So wonderful to have T's friendly face around again.  I have to share some non-sunrise photos of our beautiful hike up Gorham Mtn in Acadia National Park on Friday.

It was a gray Easter weekend up here in Maine.  There was little sun, even some spits of snow and drizzle.  J was working.  T planned to leave town  Saturday afternoon to visit friends and meet up with her three siblings in Boston (or so she said).  I figured I'd try and get a bunch of work done.  Whatever.

Then on Saturday morning - next burst of sunlight:   the three other siblings walked through the door.  Our four birdies were back in the nest!

I can't think of a greater surprise.  Happy mommy.

There's the whole gang out walking.  Isn't it strange?  To a passing stranger, it's just a group of walkers that you might not look twice at.  To me, it's my whole world.

We are a talky family.  We spent hours just hanging around the dinner table, or by the fire, or out walking, or playing games, and just talking about stuff - movies, politics, education, music, NPR podcasts, family, and telling stories.

Somehow, I think some of the best times are when everyone is just working or reading or playing the piano  on their own - sharing space.  It is peaceful.  All is right with the world.

First departure was at dawn this morning.  Another gray day, but with light in the heart.