I hate waking up most mornings.
Simply for the fact that my thyroid levels are at their lowest in the mornings and I’m achy, I’m moaning, I’m shivering. Also because I obviously haven’t had any coffee. This morning was no different.
I was snuggled deep inside my covers smugly thinking about the awesome things I pinned last night on pinterest and how my pins are better than my friends. Then I realized I was
lame awesome and got out of bed. By the time I hit the door to leave my house I was irritated and running late (like always).
That is the typical morning for me. Rushing out the door because I had a hard time getting out of my bed (it’s not even comfortable), shoving sausage links and eggo pieces into my kids’ hands and speeding away in my Ford Taurus. Don’t judge me! Like you never owned a Ford Taurus! Once I owned a neon green Volkswagen Rabbit convertible. It had no brakes but it was schweeeeeeet!
My home is 5 miles from work with no traffic. Jealous? I drive through a small stretch of desert before coming into town. It’s a pretty drive but I’m usually too busy to pay attention. The sun wasn’t even up all the way.
At about the half way mark I noticed a man, in a red sweater, standing on the side of the road near his bicycle. I was primed for a winning, “hey Darby, that’s your man” remark. This red sweatered man was standing perfectly still looking towards the East. I slowed down a little. He must have been about 75 and in obvious good health. Standing perfectly still, facing East. It was odd and yet I felt a sense of anticipation while watching him. There he was, standing still when I started to pass him at the most opportune time: he moved.
The man in the red sweater clasped his hands in front of him, raised his face and smiled the most serene smile as a line of golden sunlight washed down him. He was waiting for the sun.
I watched him from my rear view window, smiling. All of a sudden I felt shamed for going so fast, for moving in a rush, for pushing my children out the door with breakfast in hand. I wondered what it must feel like to anticipate the morning rays on the side of the road while everyone else is rushing by. And I wondered what his thoughts were and if he greeted every sunrise thus. But I also felt as though I had intruded on an intimate moment.
This consumed me for the next few minutes as I zipped past buildings that kept the sun from directly hitting me. I intentionally turned down a road that was free of buildings, chasing the sun. It hit me, full in the face. It wasn’t the same, it wasn’t right. I felt like I had missed out on something.
I obsessed for another hour before I was able to write this entry and that’s when I remembered. I have been there. I’ve seen the sun and felt it warm me as it rose in the morning. My mind was flooded with memories of going to my grandfather’s farm at 5 in the morning and working as the sun came up. I can remember watching it hit the outer edges of the fields and move closer and closer to me, warming me in the winters and punishing me in the hot summers.
Then I no longer wondered what he thought because I had the same thoughts and I can’t even put them into words. It’s an experience, an understanding of nature, a sense of accomplishment, an acceptance of a new day, a celebration of life. An epiphany.