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.


Friday, September 27, 2013

a little check-in with dawn

sunrise:  6:29

I was writing up on the third floor this morning when I saw that fuchsia tinge in the east.  It was fading by the time I got outside, but that is the nature of dawn's finest moments.  You have to seize beauty when it appears.

Forgive my long silence.  Life is full; my writing life is full.  I'm even awake fairly regularly at dawn, but generally admire the rising light of day through the windows.  Still, feeling yourself enveloped by the air of a September pre-dawn is not like anything else.  I should get out there in body more often.

Please remember, if you happen upon this post, that one of the reasons I keep it open is with the hope that others may submit photos and/or mental reflections of the sunrise from anywhere in the world.  I will post them here.

Have a lovely fall.

Monday, July 8, 2013

maine island days

July 7th sunrise, Sutton Island, Maine.

4:55am, or so

[I wrote this post yesterday morning, after a week on our favorite island with all the kids plus S.O.'s - the first ever gathering of all 9 of us]

Back on Sutton Island in Maine, where time hovers in suspension.  We leave today.  I say goodbye to a large number of those whom I hold most dear, so I am restless.  I always get unsettled when they leave me, when they go off into their cars and planes and lives – all those things fraught with unknown perils.  At least, that’s what it sometimes feels like when they are out of my hands, out of my sight.

The sunrise is always there, more often ignored than not these days.  The month of June slipped away without a sunrise excursion.  But today I allowed it to call me out.

I’ve been in a kind of holding pattern, waiting not for a landing but a launching.   I suppose I’m waiting to be called out in a bigger way.  Less than a week remains before I start my first residency for an MFA program in writing, and I’ve been writing virtually not at all.  I wish I didn’t feel the need to be shoved forward by some external force, but that seems to be my lot.  

Maybe with that impetus I can write about this island, the thoughts that flit by, the personalities inhabiting my life’s space, cookouts on the rocks interrupted by a drenching rain, hummingbirds at the feeder, barnacle scrapes, wading to a tidal island, catching up with a slew of 20-somethings over breakfast on a hot summer morning, many dogs draped over stones and decks in a state of island bliss, lots of coffee from a French press, margaritas shaken up in a washed out spaghetti sauce jar…stuff like that.

 dawn glow through a screen door...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May meander, 4:45am

sunrise - 4:55am

Since my bedroom window faces north, the sun's morning light becomes more and more prominent on my pillow as it moves into its summertime position.  I've been too comfortable to venture out into the early dawn risings of May, but most mornings I vicariously experience that wonderful time of early light and first bird song through glass.  I take in the sensory experience of the world waking up, then I happily close my eyes again.

It should have been no surprise, that rush of witnessed grandeur that filled me out there at 4:45 this morning, but there it was, like nothing else.  Seeing it out the window and standing in the outdoor air are nothing like each other.  Perhaps I'll start getting out there more often...but it's hard to say.  The sun won't be up later than 5am until after July 10th.

Our Pakistani daughter leaves for home three weeks from today, after her year in Maine with us.  She is off on an all day whitewater rafting trip today with the high school seniors, which was what got me up so early.  A couple of days ago, almost 21-year-old T and I went with her to Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. Q had never been on a roller coaster - now she has been on several, plus a couple of water rides with big splashes.  Q loved the water rides.  We'll see how she feels about the real thing after today's adventure.

I attended the funeral of a friend of mine yesterday.  Cancer.  That stupid disease pops up everywhere, and I've had way too much of it too close to home lately.  That may be another reason why I've been disinclined to write.  Still, the family of my deceased friend articulated their feelings for their father with such sweet sorrow and inspired remembrance that I was left feeling uplifted and hopeful.  I suppose that's what a good funeral ought to do.

Here is a photo meander through today's sunrise, including some avian friends.  I startled a pair of ducks and caught them taking off, and was serenaded by the ubiquitous blackbirds.

There are also some backyard shots from about a week ago when the trees were still in high bloom.  My back field is an exquisite refuge and delight.  Its flower display this spring has been especially exuberant, and I couldn't resist including some shots of my very favorite bluets.

 blackbird, moon

Saturday, April 13, 2013

april december?

sunrise:  5:54

I had the strangest feeling as I came downstairs this morning.  The house was illuminated only by the muted twilight glow of predawn, but there was something distinct and familiar about it.  Outside the glass of the front door there was fresh snow reflecting light into the quiet house in that way that only snow can, and suddenly a rush of Christmas morning flutters ran through me.  It's a lovely feeling, only I'm not generally prepared for it on April 13th.

Clearly I live in the right climate for me.  Everyone is chomping at the bit, waiting for spring, but I can't help feeling some elation over this fresh coating of white, short-lived though it will be.

Our mallard pair carries on unruffled.  The dogs' morning joy remains the same.  The blackbirds are still singing, although perhaps with diminished gusto.  They all take what the world offers and they go with it.  I like that approach.

Spring beauty still abounds.  Maybe it's even enhanced with a unique quality this morning, covered with this unseasonal frozen moisture.  Even an old collection of yard junk and a brush pile can hold a kind of picturesque stateliness.


Anyway - enough effusing.  I have work to do.  A little seismic shift in my approach to daily life is in order as I prepare for a two year course of study (see March 21 post).  I seem to have difficulty sitting down to write for scheduled hours on end, so I have moments of panic when I consider that I am supposed to write for a minimum of 25 hours a week after the program begins - plus readings, and of course my regular life.

I'm trying to practice.  No luck so far.

Still.  It's a lovely morning!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March moonrise

Now and then, we do best to bend the rules a bit.

It is clear to me, 27 months after completing my year of sunrise, that my inclination to post will far exceed my inclination to get up in time to see the dawn face to face, in the open air.  I haven't given up sunrise excursions, but even more, I haven't lost the enchantment of skywatching in general.

I had made a rule for myself - no blog post unless it included new sunrise photos.  But I will bend that rule, now and then, in order to share something I just had to show you.

March has always stood out to me as a month of inspiration.  In Maine, it is the ugliest month.  Today is the ugliest day - frozen drizzle, thick cloud cover, penetrating, damp chill, brown deadness over much of the earth.  And yet - anticipation is there, in the air, if you reach out to feel it with your heart and breathe it into your being.

Last night, just as twilight was fading, I headed outside with the dogs and saw the (nearly) full moon rising.  I cannot help but be stirred by that kind of suspended beauty.