Sunday, October 7, 2007



How can you tell the difference between a sunset and a sunrise in a photograph or painting? If you were not there, or if you did not create the art yourself, how can you be sure which is which? Likewise, or, dare I say, more importantly, how can you tell the difference between a description of a sunrise and a sunset in someone's writing? Most importantly, how can you describe a sunrise or sunset in your own writing, with such specific attention to detail, you don't even have to tell the reader which is which?


I was asleep. All I wanted was sleep, or so I thought. I was on vacation, and I needed some much sought after rest. For some reason, my eyes popped open. I had specifically taken all the clocks out of the room, before going to bed, to allow myself the leisure of sleeping in as long as possible.

Now that my eyes were open, they were beginning to adjust to the dark. It was dark! I should not be up, but then I noticed some semblance of light peeping through the blinds in my vacation rental.

I gave in and walked over to the window and pulled open the blinds. My senses were bombarded by sheer beauty. Just like me the world was beginning to wake up. Outside of my window was a large field with one tree, and then a lake. The tree was probably older than my great grandfather, who used to own this land. It was bare of leaves, and pale white light was peeping through its limbs, and dancing about, as if it was asking me to come out and play. I had to oblige.

I pulled on a sweater over my night gown and walked downstairs. I didn't even bother with coffee, for fear of missing a moment of this majestic gift the creator was bestowing upon me this morning. I walked outside and sat in one of the old rockers on the back porch.

The air was cool on my skin, the boards were a bit damp under my toes. The light was growing around me. In the midst of the tree, was a giant orb of light, expanding as it climbed up the tree. It reminded me of my youth, when the neighbor used to tell my mother I was in the tree again. My mom told me of this recently. She said she used to tell old Dot, "I know, but don't say anything to her, she doesn't know it's dangerous." My mom was sure I was safe, as long as I was sure as shootin' that I knew what I was doing, and I never broke a single bone.

The world around me smelled beautiful and new. I looked out over the lake, with the fog raising off of it. I saw a man in a kayak, who seemed to be rowing into the orb of light. Everything around me was at perfect peace. It was the hush before the day began.

Below the white orb, a line of yellow was forming. But it was not the growing or changing colors that alarmed me with their beauty. It was the newness of light all around me, as well as the knowledge that I had been awakened to see it, all alone, and beautiful. A gift from my maker.


I had dinner at an old friends house. It was situated on a little hill, on the other side of the lake from my great grandfather's old property. A small group of us ate outside, on the porch. We were facing the lake, and were content to sit and talk, long after the food had been eaten. Our conversations were expansive and hilarious.

Suddenly, a quiet hush fell over us, as we looked out over the lake. I can tell you, for me, it felt as if a large hand rested on my shoulder and a small still voice whispered in my ear, "Look, there is more to see." The light was disappearing. But, there was no fear as we faded into darkness. The water was four different shades of blue. I wanted to slip away into it, and live within it's beauty. The huge orb was orange, but you could barely see its outline in a swath or bright orange and yellow, it was as if the water was on fire, but again, no one was afraid.

We sat in peaceful silence, as our day disappeared into the water. For all we knew, the light would never return. But we were confident in the magnificence of the gift we had been given for this one day. As quietly as it began, darkness descended. The lightening bugs came out, our hostess got up to turn on a porch light and lit some candles, and the conversation and laughter returned. No one spoke of the sunset. The beauty was too big for words.

So you see, a sunrise and a sunset are very different, and the differences can even be put into words.

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