Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sunrise, sunset...

Left to my own devices, I'm a night owl. I'm a high-energy woman, but my circadian rhythms have always been off. Even when I was a little kid, I was a slug in the mornings. I've always had to ease into the day, and that means certain things: coffee, minimum interactions, no talking, no morning tv. My kids are the same way; there's not an early bird in the bunch. When they were little, I used to wake them by singing to them, paraphrasing the lyrics of the Good Morning song from Singin' in the Rain (
"Gooood morning! Good mooooooorning! You've slept the whole night through! Good morning, good you!")

Hey, I'm still here, and so are they. Eventually, I become functional, able to carry on a conversation, etc., etc., but left to my own devices, I really start to get energized as the sun goes down. I can still pull an allnighter if I need to (although I admit, recovery is hell).

However, since August 1st, when I re-entered the work force by accepting a job over an hour away from my house, I've had to turn my cycle around. These days, I have to be up at the crack of dawn. Literally, at the crack of dawn. Actually, most days, when I leave for work, it's still dark outside, and sometimes it's still dark when I get there. I thought I'd hate this, and I have to admit, getting up so early is not my favorite thing, but it’s not all bad. In fact, there's one thing that I really enjoy, and actually look forward to each day, and that's seeing the sun come up. It's fair to say that I’ve seen more sunrises since August 1st than I’ve seen in my entire life, prior to that, and I have to tell you, they're growing on me.

So this morning, as I was scurrying about, trying to remember all the things that are so hard for me to remember in the early morning hours, I actually remembered to grab my camera. It was a beautiful morning, crisp and cool, and I drove to work with the top down (hey, I have heated seats!). It was still dark when I got to work, so I went inside, turned on my computer, started working, checked the time for sunrise, and then went outside and shot this pic. It's not a great pic, but it was a terrific sunrise.

And to balance it out...yin yang, and all's a pic of the sunset tonight, taken from a drainage ditch near my house...

And the sunrise reminds me of Mike and Chris, when they were little guys. In July, 1989, I took all 4 kids to South Padre Island by myself. Alex was 13, Kath was 10, and the boys were about to turn 4. Mike and Chris wanted to see a sunrise, but being the slug that I am, and all 4 kids being the slugs that they were, I kept putting off that particular pleasure until suddenly I realized I had just one more morning in which to achieve it.

That night I set the alarm, and the next morning, as soon as it went off, I got all 4 kids out of bed (no small feat), and we stumbled, sleepily, over to the beach to watch the sunrise.

Which would have been great, except...there was a huge bank of heavy clouds, low on the horizon, and those clouds were so heavy that not a beam of sun managed to break through them. As a result, we sat shivering on the beach, in the wet sand, for a good 45 minutes, waiting to see the sunrise. When the sun finally did break above the cloud cover that morning, it was fairly high in the sky. Nevertheless, I believe in ceremony, so I said, enthusiastically, "There it is, boys! Look at that! That's a SUNRISE!"

Mike and Chris looked, obviously disappointed. Clearly, the sun didn't look much different to them, in terms of angle, color, and size, than it usually did when I was driving them to pre-school in the early mornings.

"Yeah, thanks Mom, that's great,"
they said, flatly but in unison.

Never one to let well enough alone, I decided to seize the moment, and turn the outing into a little science lesson.

"Now boys,"
I said, "tell me this: do you know what DIRECTION that is?"

They looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. "Uh, yeah, Mom, we KNOW what direction that is, whaddya think?" Mike said, while Chris muttered something to his feet.

"Well, then, tell me, what direction is it?" I asked.

Both boys exchanged a look, and then said, clearly exasperated, "Mom, that direction is UP!"

From the mouths of babes...


Stephanie said...

Well, I think your pictures are beautiful. It's hard taking pictures directly at the sun. I got a chuckle over the description of your family. Just the opposite of mine. We are all very early birds. Up and at 'em! LOL! But your way sounds very nice too.

Tammy said...

You always manage to make lemonaide out of lemons! These pictures were great! I really enjoyed our chat :)

Erin said...

I enjoyed reading this entry! Sunrise/Sunset at the beach is a very beautiful thing.

Also, I LOVE the movie Singin' in the Rain! I enjoyed the reference. (And I think the "Good Morning" scene is one of the best in the movie.)

Paul said...

I take my photos out on the water because I can't find any drainage ditches ;-)

Jimmy said...

I re-enter the work force October 16th, and my mornings will pretty much be the way you described (and my inner slug the same as yours).

But I'm going to make a point to set aside one morning to do what you did. I think it would make a great memory for me too.


dreaminglily said...

Aww gorgeous pics and sweet entry. Sorry I haven't been around much, life is taking a dive :o/


TJ said...

How cool are those pictures. The drainage ditch was a great catch!!!
I am laughing...yes kids can keep it simple can't they? There is alot to be said for that...
How is the new job?
Love TJ

Chris said...

ha! Trevor has nailed me with answers like that. Adults tend to miss the obvious sometimes, don't we?

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