Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Purple Sunrise

This is my post from September 16 a year ago. I'm reposting as a part of my sixth blogiversary week.

My friend Colleen took this picture of the sunrise over the Cascades this morning
Today's pre-dawn sky was the color of eggplant against mountains the shade of a nearly black plum, finally ready to eat. At 5:50, it was still an hour until sunrise, but the hint of color brought with it a hint of the day's promise.

We've been a one-car family for the past three months and occasionally I commute with Tom the 33 miles to his office so that I can have the car for the day, then return to pick him up in the afternoon. It's not a great longterm solution, but it works for now. I've witnessed a lot of sunrises with my husband this summer, and that has been worth the inconvenience.

When we began our treks together it was just after the first day of summer and the sun was rising about 5:15. The sky was already bright enough to read in the car without a light, but who could read? Colors streaked the sky, horsetail clouds formed whispy patterns around us, and fog often lay just above the ground over the farmland and along the slough in Everett. Some days were so glorious that I forgot to breathe. Each trip found the sun rising a few minutes later than the previous trip, providing us a tangible reminder of nature's clock.

Sunrise was 6:49 today. I couldn't get enough of it. How often we've remarked that we should have had a camera on our morning trips to work, but even if we had it, you can't exactly stop along the freeway to snap a shot.

After dropping Tom off I was determined to find a spot where I could pull off and get a good, long look.

If you know Everett, perhaps you remember the overpass by the Evergreen Cemetery which will take you from South Broadway (overlooking Lowell), across the freeway, then down on to Broadway. It has not been kept up -- that is, there are lots of weeds along the sides of the road -- but it is still in use and still offers a great view of the Cascades and the Snohomish River valley. It's not wide enough to pull over but there was no other traffic on the bridge so I did stop momentarily and drink in the view. The sun had still not risen but the sky was turning orange and the clouds, light grey puffs that scattered across the sky, were lit from underneath. Fog settled in the low places, faint enough to see forms -- trees and buildings -- in the distance.

Even the sewage treatment plant just north of Everett was radiant in the moments before the sun appeared above the mountains. Reflections in the pond were filled with pinks and yellows and oranges and purples, and the details in the mountains above were beginning to be washed out by the brightening sky.

The sun had fully risen by the time I turned off I-5 onto Hwy 532. I was too far north by now to see it until, heading west, it glared in both my rearview mirror and my side mirror, temporarily blinding me. By the time I pulled into our driveway the day looked like any other. It might be, too, except that I had seen the sun rise this morning and had known the secret of its splendor. It had whispered its beauty to me and filled me with its wonder.

It just wouldn't be right to waste a sunrise.

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