Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunrise at the Beach

Our first day of vacation, I woke at a ridiculous hour.  5:28a.m.  I haven't willingly gotten up at that time EVER.  I treasure the opportunity to sleep late, especially on vacation.  I spent many years getting up early by necessity.  I feel as if I deserve my rest.  I've earned it. 

I eyed the clock at 5:34a.m. and rolled over, readjusted and intended to go back to sleep.  No luck.  The sky was dark, my body was still but my mind was moving.  It occurred to me that I'd never seen a sunrise on the island.  It occurred to me that I was probably awake early enough to make it to the beach before the sunrise.  It occurred to me that I didn't want to miss this opportunity.

I got out of bed, made coffee, filled my travel cup and walked to the beach.  At first, I thought I'd missed the sunrise.  The sky had lightened.  Pinks and peaches painted the lower part of the sky.  There was a band of clouds above the horizon.  Even without  a spectacular sunrise, I settled in to enjoy the quiet of the beach at dawn.  There was something special about being alone, awake so early, by choice. 

As the sky continued to lighten, I watched pelicans fly in formation.  They skimmed the water then broke and dove.  Missiles shooting into the water.  It was impressive that such awkward birds on the ground had such grace and purpose in the air and water. 

After watching the pelicans, I walked down the beach.  The sky became brighter pink and lightened.  The peaches darkened to neon orange.  The band of clouds lightened.  I began to hope that there might still be a sunrise to be seen. 

The smell of salt and sea air moved around me as I walked.  The call of birds.  The roll of the waves.  The sparkle of sun on water.  The lightening of the sky.  The coolness of the firm sand under my feet.  All worked to sooth my senses and bring a deep sense of well being.  It felt great to move down the beach in silence, in wonder, in joy. 

The sun, hidden, then visible.  A dark orange ball.  The sky streaked with brilliant pink and light blue.  A brilliant piece of art in a strip below the clouds, above the ocean.  The water reflected an ever moving interpretation of the original suspended over head.  The sunrise surprised and blessed me. 

I couldn't have planned a better beginning to my vacation.  Sometimes planning isn't necessary.  Sometimes it's enough to get out of bed and show up.

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