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