Rising early, we do not have a sure plan. Well, nothing beyond get out of bed before sunrise, anyway. Loading into the car, we decide to head for a simple, relatively close location. As we drive, we discuss the worst possible outcome: an earlier breakfast than originally planned. Arriving at our destination, we are greeted with nearly perfect, clear skies. I prefer a few more clouds with my sunrise, but this does have a magic all its own. Here, there is hope.
Skies of Blue
On a clear day, we talk about blue skies. At sunrise, the sky goes through a marvelous cycle of colors. Starting with dark blues, the sunrise takes us around the color wheel through purples, reds, and oranges before we see the familiar sky blue of day. Perhaps we catch a glimpse of Venus or the sliver of a waning crescent moon. This early in the morning, contrails from air traffic are rare, but we do hear the distant roar of a single, civilian aircraft departing from a nearby airport.
The City Below
One of the stereotypes of Oklahoma is that it is flat. While not entirely accurate, this morning’s view hides the rolling hills in shadow. Seventeen miles away, the tallest building in Oklahoma (just left of center) can easily be seen. It, too, stands on a hill. Over the distance, there is a drop of about 85 feet before the hills rise again to a similar elevation. So, the city is not so much below as it is “over there”, but it feels like below. It also feels like more than seventeen miles away.
Thoughts of Hope
As I stand upon this hill on a chilly morning, I am searching for peace. My brain typically runs at a hundred miles an hour. It takes hard turns into focused determination followed by swerves into doubt and confusion. But here, looking across a shadowy landscape under slowly changing skies, there is a moment of silence. My eyes take in the view, drinking in the colors and contrasts. In the distance, a cow’s lowing drifts across the same wind that carries the smell of fresh dew and recently turned soil to my nose. My fingers adjust camera settings of their own accord. I need not hope I get a good photograph. All I have to do is point and click.
But, mostly, I stand atop the hill and drink in the view. This moment is ours. It delivers a promise of hope. The sunrise is a reminder that there is another day ahead. Regardless of the difficulties it might present, it also provides opportunity.
At the very worst, I get to spend a bit of time with my son, enjoying God’s creation together.