Friday, January 11, 2013

Reason # 323 to stop, look and listen

Today's gift brought to you by Mother Nature.

It was about 6:45 am.  I was sitting at my desk, catching up on email. Using that precious sliver of time between getting the eldest child off to school and before I wake the younger one up.  The cat was being annoying, scratching at the window screen.  I got up to scold her.  She ran away.  I sat back down.  She started scratching again.  I went back to scold her again, this time trying to figure out what she was trying to get at.  A neighbor's cat was sitting on our deck rail, ignoring her.  She wanted to get his attention.  She was failing.  Hence the more frantic scratching.  It was still pretty dark outside, dawn just starting to break.

Then, I noticed the sky was on fire.

It is a partly cloudy morning.  Rain is in the forecast for later today.  The sailor's adage rings true, red sky in morning...  It was stunning!  I grabbed my phone and stood there for the next 20 minutes, watching and photographing the sunrise.  It was gorgeous.  The photos do not do it justice. There were a gazillion other things I should have been doing, but suddenly, appreciating the beauty and serenity of the sunrise we take for granted every day was all that mattered.

I watched the sky turn from red to orange to pink and purple.  It morphed from a bright central focus of color with long reaching rays of light painting the sky shades of pastel to a softer, more generalized orange-yellow glow.  I looked to the northwestern sky, it was a soft purple and pink.  I found myself smiling.  It looked like something one of my children would have finger painted when they were younger.  It was whimsical and ever changing.

The blue hue of the daytime sky started to appear as the sun rose above the horizon.  I watched as the sun kissed the treetops making them appear as if they were glowing.  It was glorious to behold.  The yellow glow of the sun's light softened as daylight broke.  It was almost as if I could hear the wake up call to the earth.

The cat finally settled down in her bed by the bay window.  Just in time for the birds to arrive, singing their morning song, right on cue.  She does enjoy her bird TV!  I listened to them sing their morning song.  I'm pretty sure they were telling me they'd like their feeders refilled.  :-)

An hour later, there is a diffuse pale yellow-white light across the Eastern sky.  The clouds filtering the sun.  To the West, there is a faint purple-blue whitewashed hue to the sky.  The birds are really busy now!  The cat is in her bed on my desk, bathing.  She has no idea the gift she gave me in her misbehaving, but she's clean and adorable.

This morning was a reminder to stop and observe nature as it unfolds and evolves around us.  To realize sometimes those little annoyances in our lives are a nudge toward something greater. We need to pay more attention to the things we take for granted every day.  If we open our eyes and look, we can appreciate what we have, who we are and where we came from in a far greater way.  If we listen, we might not only hear the sounds of nature, but perhaps the call of our soul, of our consciousness.  It might just give us the perspective we need to realize just how fortunate we are to have been grated the opportunity to see this sunrise, for so many others did not or can not.

I remember being in Hawaii many years ago.  On Maui, the touristy thing to do is to get up at the un-Godly hour of 3 am and drive to the summit of Mt. Haleakala to watch the sunrise above the cloud deck.  The drive up was stunning in and of itself.  You have not seen the glory of the night sky until you see it from 10,000 feet in the middle of the ocean!  The 'shooting stars' alone were a treat.  Hundreds of people gather every day to watch the sunrise there.  It is spectacular most days. The day we went, people spontaneously broke into a chorus of "Here Comes the Sun".

I've always loved sunsets and sunrises.  The colors that are painted on the canvas of the sky are gorgeous and never the same twice.  We are given the gift of a sunrise and a sunset every day.  We don't have to be on vacation or in a tropical location to appreciate the beauty around us.  Yet few of us take the time to notice it otherwise.

Go outside.  Stop.  Look up.  Look around.  Listen.  What did you discover today?


  1. Just wanted to tell you that I'm new to your blog, but that I thoroughly enjoyed your pics. Really really lovely...:) Have a great weekend!

  2. I too love sunsets. There is something magical, peaceful and comforting in a sunrise or sunset. I'm new to your blog. I'm also following you on fb. I admire you and have learned so much from you.