I head to the coffee pot, return to bed with a book
and a pen and paper and my computer.
Sometimes an idea has me and I get right to it.
Sometimes I waste time looking at things that have
nothing to do with my life.
After an hour passes, I get out of bed to walk
to my daughter’s old room.
How can I have a daughter with an old room?
It is mostly empty except for the stuff
she doesn’t want or stuff she doesn’t
know how to classify
In her new life as a college student.
It is stuff that is hers but isn’t.
We don’t know what to do with the room
and there is no rush.
There is still time for her to return.
But I go there to look out her window.
It shows me what is up,
how the world will unfold today.
I get the first peek of gold or red or purple or pink
and then I make my move.
I pile on clothes over pajamas and grab my old phone.
Most times I forget my license.
This is trouble because I speed.
I am in a hurry.
I don’t want to miss it.
I often drive to my favorite lake.
I park the car, heart racing just a bit.
I scan the horizon and see the first lines of color emerge.
Soon my heart is calm.
I get out.
The cold air,
the frost making my steps crunch on grass.
All of it says “hello”.
I am alone.
It seems silly.
I have probably taken
the same picture 500 times,
But each time I see something new,
feel a bit differently about the view I am taking in,
and I am compelled to document it.
"You drove to the lake just for a picture?” my son asks around an egg sandwich.
“Cool, but why?”
I’ve been wondering that myself,
why I don’t want to miss a sunrise.
It happens everyday.
I tell my own kids, “There is always tomorrow.”
But is there?
It’s starting to feel cavalier.
I carry too many stories under my breastbone.
Stories of pain and loss and fear and shattered dreams.
It seems foolish to think I will get one more day
and so why waste it by not waiting for the sun to rise?
The payoff might seem small.
I don’t have a good camera.
I have no ambitions that will bring me
money from my photography.
I share on social media, a concept
making me less social it seems.
The space it takes up in my phone--
I guess it’s big according to the messages
I receive, but it doesn’t feel big.
It feels like nothing I can detect.
Except that’s not entirely true.
I notice that my breath slows.
Everything within me relaxes.
My eyes feel supernatural
seeing something others cannot.
A wisp of cloud in the shape of lips,
the cut glass sheen of a barely frozen lake,
the smoke stack sending curly puffs up into
our bluffs against the purple sky.
All of this physical proof I was there,
waiting to see what was on offer for the day.
I imagine my own funeral,
wondering if it can happen at sunrise.
It seems to me planning for that is like
asking for it to rain, a bad omen.
I don’t want that.
I don’t want anyone to wake up on that day
unable to see that I am still here.
In grief it’s hard to know the sun
will appear again pushing
away the clouds and showing off
its true colors just for you.
But it’s true.
I will be here if you wait.