Meet the first light of day outdoors for 365 days, beginning Jan. 1, 2010.
The Year is Complete!
Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.
PLEASE JOIN ME FOR MORE SUNRISE POSTS AT THE SUNRISE BLOGGER, WHERE YOU WILL FIND SUNRISE PHOTOS AND REFLECTIONS FROM ME AND FROM CONTRIBUTORS AROUND THE GLOBE.
Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.
Just prior to 2010, I challenged myself to be outdoors for sunrise every day for one year, beginning on Jan. 1, 2010. Not being a morning person, I knew it would be a significant change in my life. I had a lot of changes being thrown at me that year, but this change was in my control.
My morning ritual was such a dramatic success on so many levels that I have decided to carry on, at least occasionally.
I am now 50 years old, an empty nester, mother of four launched children. I have also become a writer, with about 70 published articles in 2010 in addition to my 365 blog posts. I am also slowly writing my way through my first full length book - about the life of Rachel Field, author, poet, and former owner of our family's summer home on an island off the coast of Maine.
When the spirit moves me to reflect upon the writing life, the natural world, family relationships, the journey of life, love, and laughter, I will get up before the sun, watch the rising of day, and record my continuing odyssey. (January, 2011)
For some reason, I got it in my head years ago that I love the state of Pennsylvania. Maybe it was the musical about Amish country that my senior high school class put on. Maybe it was being designated as an honorary assistant scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the summer of 1979, or my subsequent visit to that city and the Three Rivers Stadium. It could have been the names of the three rivers that gave the stadium its name - the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongehela. Maybe it was the many scenic trips through a glorious river valley in Pennsylvania, on the way from Rochester, NY toWashington, DC when my kids were young.
In any case, yesterday and today have only reconfirmed my assessment. After a wonderfully fun surprise 50th birthday event in Philadelphia last night - glowingly moved surprisee, funny tributes, great band, late night dancing, a solid cadre of the Whiffenpoofs for a great acapella performance, reunions with some truly treasured friends - we made our way out to the suburb of Wayne, where J's cousins have a home.
Philadelphia itself is a charming city, with an old colonial feel that is distinct from Boston's but equally evocative of another era's charm.
Today I took a walk around Wayne, PA. There is a rail trail about 1/2 mile from our cousins' home, where I went with the company of Riggs, my surrogate dog for the dawn ramble. J's cousin is a former football player for UVA, a bright, gracious, funny, and physically imposing human being - extra large. Riggs the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a suitable foil to his owner. And yet, he was more gentle and well behaved than my errant mutts, a fraction of his size.
Gentle as he is, he certainly raised eyebrows as I passed other walkers and runners. No one was going to mess with me today.
Rail trails are one of the great ideas of the century, in my book. What a fabulous use of property no longer suitable for its former function. On my way down the path I was thinking this would be another of those places where I only get to see evidence of the sunrise rather than the sun itself, but then I turned around and there it was.
I love the variety of flora around here. That is one thing I do miss in the state of Maine. We don't have nearly the depth of plant species. The landscapes, shrubs and trees are so intricate and rich and gloriously beautiful as you move into more southern climes.
I remember visiting the rain forest in Belize when the kids were teenagers. That place made Pennsylvania look like it had nothing going in plant life. Talk about variety of species. Birds too. There are no vast stretches of oak forest or hemlock groves. Everything is a mass conglomeration of EVERYTHING at once. It is impressive to see.
But Pennsylvania has enough variety for me to be impressed. That senior high school musical that we put on in 1978 was called "Plain and Fancy." The big chorus number was called "Plenty of Pennsylvania," and I still remember most of the words. They sang about the state "where anything grows .... all you need is some seed and a plow or two, and a bull who's keeping company with a cow or two..."