Serenity

Sunrise

The pale light of dawn pricks holes in the forest canopy exposing the earthen trail that winds to the beach.  I can hear the waves lapping sleepily onto the rocky shore, the only sound that breaks the peaceful silence.  My feet pat the soft ground like the padded feet of a toddler.  I can feel every step give just a little on the soft trail, a path followed by many on a sojourn to the shores of this jagged promontory.  A sharp, coniferous odor mixed with saltwater permeates the air.

I emerge from the shroud of the great Douglas firs onto an expanse of gray sand peppered with smooth rocks worn by the relentless beating of the sea.  Beached trees, long dead and petrified, are strewn like abandoned tinker toys on the edge of the sand.  I breathe in the damp morning air inhaling deeply as if I’m appreciating a fine wine.  The fog lolls just a stone’s throw off the shore adding some mystique to the beautiful morning that awaits the sun’s arrival.  A smattering of small, rocky islands poke up through the blanket of fog like napping dogs disturbed by an interloper.  I take a seat on one of the discarded trees at the sand’s edge and watch the morning slowly unfold, an almost ethereal menagerie of sights, smells, and sounds as close to the great beyond as life can get.

The forest wraps around me like a warm blanket and the waves hypnotize me with their melodic song.  Seagulls, endlessly searching for food, glide in and out of my view screaming at me as if I have disturbed their morning ritual.  I ignore them as the sun’s warm rays slowly rise above the statuesque mountains in the east.  Bit by bit, the oranges and pinks brighten as the pale light of dawn scampers away.  The first bright arc punches through the horizon warming my face as I wait for the sun to stand up, stretch its arms, and yawn into a new day.  A lazy summer day awaits his declaration of light.

A cool breeze runs a lap along the beach joyously celebrating a new beginning.  I’m fully relaxed against the beached tree observing the natural beauty that engulfs me.  It is this moment, one of uninterrupted peace, that I appreciate the most with Mother Nature and her unfettered elegance beaming at me, a smile so bright that I have to look askew lest the surreal beauty overwhelms me.

The sun is fully awake now standing proudly atop the mountains ready to grace us with a gorgeous day.  I bask in the rays for a moment, enjoy the last sounds of the calming waves and errant seagulls before I stand up, stretch, and return to the soft trail leading away from the beach.  This moment, the slow unfolding of this day, will forever be burned into my memory.

Summer Morning

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The cacophony of silence embraces me.  What speaks louder and with as many voices as the early morning?  The sun wakes and yawns a subtle glare from the mountains in the distance.  Vivid pinks and oranges push against the edge of darkness and flood the valley below.  The mist, a mysterious creature of the night, proves as ephemeral as the legends in its wake.  The pungent odor of trees and earth rides the cool breeze that envelopes me raising the tiny hairs on my arms.  A relaxing shudder rolls down my spine as I take in the morning and the glory of it all.

The tall, slender aspens come alive in the light, one side brighter than the other as if they are huddled around an inviting campfire.  A slight breeze ruffles their limbs, a visceral chatter among the trees.  They call out to me, remind me of their beauty.  They have stood the test of darkness and are reborn in the tender golden light, a microcosm of the circle of life.  The birds, sensing the endless possibilities of a new day, fritter from tree to tree, chirping and singing the praises of the morning.  A hummingbird, awash in endless motion, hovers from flower to flower.  A stray call pierces the silence, and then, like an embarrassed interloper, falls quiet again.  The cacophony returns in all its wonderful solitude.

The blades of grass, spread far and wide across the yard, bow to the morning sun, each pregnant with voluptuous drops of dew.  The droplets yearn for the sun, angle toward it, hoping to rise only to fall again.  That cycle, so pervasive, yet elegant, rules all.  The morning light will give way to the harsh midday summer sun, the cool air will be replaced by the coarse heat of the day, and the vibrant colors and energy will fade and fall listless in the grind of the day.  Then, the night will come, a simple repose from the vagaries of the unyielding summer heat, but the morning, the wonderful, peaceful morning, will soon return in all her beauty.  It’s a promise each day makes.