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Glimpses of Dawn

I remember the first time that I ever saw a sunrise.  The memory of that moment is etched clearly in my mind.  My brother and I had stayed at my Grandma's house for a few days while my parents went on a little mini-vacation together.  One morning, very early, I heard someone stirring around.  Knowing it was my Grandma, who I adored, I decided to get up early with her and see what she was up to.  I found her in the kitchen dressed in her robe, with the lights still off, just as the dawn of a new day was beginning to peek above the horizon.  She asked me if I had ever seen the sun come up, which I had to admit that I had not.  We lived in town and the Eastern horizon was mostly obliterated by the houses next to us. She told me she often got up to stand in front of the kitchen sink, which was under a row of windows that spanned the Eastern skies, to watch the sun come up.  Nothing stood between those windows and the horizon but a wide open field dotted with a few sparse trees and a distant country church.  I thought, "That's just like Grandma to do something unexpected."  That was one of the reasons I loved her so much; life with her always seemed like an adventure waiting to happen.

A glimpse of the sunrise through the houses across the street
Together, we stood in front of that long row of windows and watched the light of the new day begin to dawn.  I felt as though I was in a holy space, experiencing a very sacred moment.  I began to see a little sliver of burnished orange appear just above  ground level.  She said to me, "That is the sun beginning to come up.  Just watch.  It will get bigger."  Of course. But I had never seen that happen and I stood there in utter amazement while that little sliver took on the shape of a fiery, lustrous orange ball in the Eastern sky.  Even as the light of the dawn began to emerge, a new awareness began to come alive in me.  For the first time I realized that I was witnessing an event that had been happening for thousands and thousands of years, an event that literally spanned the globe, and yet I had been largely unaware of it all of this time, and my little world began to open up and expand in a new way.  I remember feeling as though I had been missing out on one of the most amazing things happening every day.  I felt a bit cheated, a bit robbed.... how could I have not known about this?  I recall feeling so grateful to my Grandma for introducing me to this phenomenal masterpiece, and inviting me into this transcendent experience.

The sunrise today was just as spectacular as I remember it being on that morning with my Grandma.  Sunrises like the one today always take me back to that morning with my Grandma.  This many years later, I am still in awe over the wonder of creation and the masterpiece that awaits us every day.  Somehow these are the moments that invite us to experience life beyond the here and now, to taste of eternity.

"The grand show is eternal.  It's always sunrise somewhere."  John Muir


  1. This quote reminds me of something I heard on the radio the other day. In one place in the Bible Jesus comments that he will return in the day and in another he comments about returning at night. Some people think Jesus his contradicting himself, but the commentator said that because it is always day and always night somewhere, it's not contradictory at all.

    Back during the time Jesus made that comment, people may not have known that night and day existed simultaneously, but Jesus knew what he was saying.

  2. Thanks, Aleta, for sharing this perspective on Jesus's words. Good stuff!