Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Frosty Walk

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sunrise on north center lake
This morning as I lay in bed halfway between awake and asleep, I heard my husband, who was already up and dressed and ready to head downtstairs for breakfast, say "there's a deer in the backyard." I work from home, which means normally I roll out of bed about 15 minutes before I flip on my computer for the day's work. It was still dark out. It was definitely not time to get up yet. But I wanted to see the deer. I had not seen a deer in our yard yet, although I knew they were plentiful around here. So I rolled out of bed and peered over his shoulder. He had turned on the outside light and between that and the pre-dawn grey, we could just make out the white fur along the underbelly and tail. We watched quietly until Kelly said it was time for him to head downstairs. I lay back down, pondering my choices. Since I was up earlier than normal, and since it appeared like it would be a clear morning, I considered trying to squeak in a quick paddle before work. But I wasn't sure what time sunrise was, and I wasn't sure I could get out and back before it was time to work. So I switched on my computer and waited for it to boot up. By the time it was powered up and ready to Google search the local sunrise time, it was 7:30am. Today's sunrise time: 7:31am. No time to paddle. I ran through the house grabbing camera and warm clothes and gloves and headed out into the chilly 34 degree pre-dawn morning. It was clear and frosty, and I wanted to get down to the lake, about half a mile down the road, just as the sun was peeking over the trees across the lake. still waterI crossed my arms and hugged my quilted shirt closer to my body as I hustled down the road. Birds were already stirring and a flock of juncoes startled out of the bushes as I scurried by. In no time I was down to the lake where I often put in for my paddle. The sun was just poking up over the trees. It was as if the whole world held her breath and waited and watched as the sun rose. I stood for a few minutes, then got "busy" taking pictures. The light was fantastic, and there was still frost on many of the little plants on the grassy hill. milkweed angelI had to stop many times from my photo op and stare at the breathtaking scene unfolding around me. Mist rose off the lake, the remaining leaves on the trees were brilliantly colored. The lake was flat calm. And the frost - every tiny detail was enhanced by the frost. A single milkweed seed lay on the beach resembling a tiny angel, the frost quickly turning to droplets of water along her downy dress, a reminder that God really is in the details. Every direction I looked I took in more beauty. It seemed my lungs would burst with the fresh air, and I was overwhelmed with the beauty and stillness. I did not want to head back up the hill and back into the house. It felt so peaceful here. So connected. I hoped I could bring those feelings back with me, back to the rhythm and routine of the day.
frosted lamb's earI grudgingly turned off my camera and took one last look at the sunrise, offering a small prayer of gratitude, before turning my back and heading back up to the road, and back up the road towards home. Along the way I noticed the frost still clinging to the plants that had not yet felt the reach of the morning sun, so I snapped a few more pictures - smartweed and lambsear and thistle, visual memories to take back with me to remind me that beauty and stillness and calmness are there for me, any time. All I need to do is roll out of bed and go for a walk.

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