Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Joys of Rising Early

Mornings here are wonderful.  More often than not I work evenings, so I am free to wake up as the sun rises and enjoy a quiet house to myself.  Oatmeal and coffee, a good book, checking the news, and skiing are my usual routine, in no particular order.

The skiing is limited to the loop that surrounds the house as it is too cold to ski for more than 25 minutes.  My poles sit outside overnight, so gripping sub zero rods transfers the lack of heat straight through my mittens to the fingers inside.  By the time I am back inside taking my boots off my fingers are tingling.  Any numbness or pain from the cold is worth it to for this though:

It dependably sinks below zero every night, often hitting -10, -15, or -20°F.  This means Jack Frost paints all of the trees with ice crystals from the vapor in the air.

As a result, the trees seem to glow as the rising sun strikes them.

An hour after the sun rises Jack Frost retreats for yet another day and everything returns to normal.  Most people are not even aware of the delicate frosting job that nature has done overnight.  They are sleeping, drinking coffee from the safe comfort of their kitchen tables, or settling in to their offices at work, oblivious to the changes that are occurring outside their shells of civilization.  Or, as Edward Abbey was wont to call it, 'syphilization.'

I am just grateful to be able to witness it myself and share it with you.  Nature never ceases to amaze me with beautiful cloud formations floating overhead, sunsets composed of reds, blues, purples, and yellows in combinations that have never occurred exactly like that before and will never be the same again, the beauty and stillness of a fresh snow blanketing the landscape, or the way wind and water have shaped and sculpted rock formations, whether gentle or jagged.

Get outside and never lose that sense of wonder that is best described as that feeling that fills children when they witness a stunning sunset, view, or an animal in its natural habitat for the first time.  A sense of wonder and awe.  Every day is new and never identical to the last.  Try, once in a while, to take a moment in while focusing on just that moment and nothing else.  Often times our lives are too convoluted, hectic, and stressful to stop and truly appreciate what is going on right in front of us, a product of our syphilization.

Jim Harrison put it best-"The summer came and went quickly which is the nature of summer for people who are not children, those lucky ones to whom clocks are of no consequence but who drift along on the true emotional content of time."

For my next post I will try and capture some photos of the night, as the moon is currently waxing, illuminating the landscape in a totally new light that defies the limited dimension of words and challenges the lens of a camera with its subtle light.

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