There is something in me that craves a sunrise. I’ve known this for a long time. It’s an exhilarating feeling, a feeling of adventure, of anticipation, of freedom. Perhaps it’s because getting up early means you have a special mission…to board a plane or set off on a journey or explore a new day. I think I first experienced this adventurous feeling when my sister and I set off cross-country on a road trip when she was 20 and I was 16. She was going back to college in Ohio in her newly purchased car. We set off from our home in California, and I was along for company. Unfortunately, we never made it to Ohio because we crashed in Nebraska and she was killed. That rather put a damper on my adventurous spirit for quite a while. But I recently discovered that I still love a road trip even though I can never put disaster completely out of my mind. Learning to embrace that perceived conflict, that life is exciting and wonderful and not entirely safe all at the same time, has been a great journey in itself.
Sunrise in Kansas on my most recent road trip
It’s like the feeling I get when I’m camping ‘far from civilization’. The nights seem very dark and very long as I lie awake in a tent with howling winds or other unidentified sounds surrounding me. I feel aware and a bit afraid and very alive. When the sun begins to rise, I feel eager to rush outside and see the light dawn on all those things that felt so mysterious and vaguely threatening. I realize then that a sense of curiosity is eclipsing my fear. That is what I want to develop more and more. Perhaps that’s a return to childhood; perhaps that’s what maturity is.
Early morning frost on the tent in New Mexico – same trip
Scilla, I’m so sorry about your sister. I share your sense of adventure and excitement that comes with morning and the feeling of being ready to travel. We always left early in the morning for our vacations and I still love that feeling.
Like Mr. Rogers says, “It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive…when you wake up ready to say ‘I think I’ll make a snappy new day!’
I’m dating myself here. 🙂
We met Mr. Rogers once at a wedding reception. Lovely man.
Oh my gosh! I am jealous. The benevolence of his smile and one soft word would have melted me on the spot!
How can such a trauma not affect your view of the world, Priscilla? And yet, you have mindfully worked to overcome it. I love your closing, and the idea that maturity might just be a return to the perspective of childhood. I believe that the getting of wisdom requires an open mind and an open heart, and isn’t that how children perceive the world until they are taught otherwise?
Exactly! To once again be as brave as a child…what a goal!
What a thoughtful post and beautiful post.
Thanks, Amy! I’m glad you came to visit!
I read the story of your sister with a heavy heart, Priscilla. That memory must be a heavy burden to bear.We are blessed that you have been able to face up to it, because some of your most wonderful photography and insights seem to emanate from those road trips.
Thank you, Victoria. The stuff of our journeys is valuable fertilizer for our growth. I wouldn’t trade mine for anything different.
Your sister is with you in very sunrise, Priscilla. And that makes them even more beautiful.
True…in every sunrise and every heartbeat. She is external and internal and one with me all the time.
My goodness, you learned so much at such a young age from a very hard experience. I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister.
I think what you describe as ‘a sense of curiosity eclipsing fear’ is why I feel compelled to travel, when I’m able now and then. It’s very life affirming.
It is! It’s a pity that our culture’s fixation on security these days is turning that around and allowing fear to eclipse curiosity.
I agree. I think a bit of fear kicks in to keep us safe and perhaps manifests as commen sense, but left unchecked fear is like a prison wall and can come to control our every move and thought. It can manifest as paralysis or actions that wouldn’t otherwise be engaged in with a clearer head prevailing.
Your personal work on overcoming your losses can only be admired… Personally I absolutely love early mornings.. the best time of the day.. Full of promise..
I have always been a morning person, too, and bird song is my favorite wake-up call.