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What time does the sun rise?

April 8, 2014

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Last week I wrote about growing up in Indiana. Flat Indiana. On our particular farm, our sunrises were partially hidden by the woods immediately to the east but nevertheless could produce some wonderful moments of awe.

One morning when I was a kid, maybe about 10 or 11, I decided to go out in our orchard and watch the sun rise. I could get a better view from the far end of the orchard.

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(Our farmhouse in Indiana, with woods to the east. Not a great view.)

I loved the orchard: we had apple, pear, apricot and cherry trees. Maybe some peach. Grandpa and Dad both loved growing fruit and in later years, Mom and Dad had a fine dwarf orchard on their smaller lot from which they ate summer suppers of peaches, bread and milk (or whatever fruit was in season–strawberries, raspberries, etc.) for 4-5 months of the year. They ate locally and in season before that became trendy.

The morning I waited for the sun, I don’t know if I didn’t tell my parents what I was doing, or why I didn’t have appropriate information on what time the sun might rise that day or just what motivated me. It was spring and I headed out—much too early—and thought I’d freeze as I sat on the cold ground waiting.

I waited and waited and while the sky was getting lighter, I finally went back to the house disappointed in my failed mission.

Then for most of my life in Virginia, 30 years, my husband and I and daughters lived in a small ranch house where our kitchen window faced north. I enjoyed my view of the woods and homes behind us, but to really get a peek at the sun, I had to wait for a sunset. Sunsets were visible from my west-facing kitchen window. But no sunrises.

After looking many many years and touring hundreds of homes (yes literally, ask our agent) we finally found a spot of ground that was not too hilly, in the right part of the county, that we could afford. The bonus was it had a spectacular view to the east.

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No, we couldn’t quite see the Massanutten mountain peak from our chosen building site, but we can see its range.

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Massanutten range lines the eastern side of the Harrisonburg section of the Shenandoah Valley and punctuates any good photo with its outline. (When I was growing up in flat Indiana, we would pretend that a lining of clouds was a mountain range on the horizon.)

I have to pretend no more. We have a patio door looking out on a deck and I can watch the sun rise from the comfort of my dining room or deck. I try to pause frequently to drink in the beauty, to make up for lost daybreaks. Sometimes I sit on the floor cross-legged in front of the patio door to take it in.

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I missed too many sunrises for too many years but I feel very blessed to enjoy them now and pretty much can’t stop photographing them, as lowly as my simple camera is.

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A few poetry scriptures for your morning:

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

God[‘s] splendor was like the sunrise;
    rays flashed from his hand,
    where his power was hidden. Habakkuk 3: 3-4

When one rules over people in righteousness,
    when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
    on a cloudless morning.” 2 Samuel 23: 3-4

And of course at Easter we recall the most magnificent of all sunrises:

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.” March 16:1-4

The powerful majesty of the rising sun, day after day, year after year, century upon century speaks to me.  “The name of the Lord is to be praised.”

I am a morning person. Morning has broken! O happy day!

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***

Do you love mornings or does your star come out at night? Neither way is better than the other!

Where is your favorite place to watch a sunrise, or sunset? Beach, mountains, prairie, cityscape?

209

Mexico Beach, Florida

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Amigo Centre, Michigan

***

For more about eating locally and in season check out this fine cookbook, Simply in Season.

All photos mine; all are of sunrises, not sunsets.

 

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From → Faith, Family Life, Nature

6 Comments
  1. Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler permalink

    I am a morning person, and I am so happy to see all your sunrise photos and hear of your sunrise encounters.

    Living on a slope overlooking the San Francisco Bay, my view to the east is hidden by higher hills and houses. However, I still have incredible sunrise moments, gazing west as the sun glistens from windows, and the particular windows change each day. All the sparkles are accompanied by color changes in the sky. It’s truly amazing, and I am blessed by each sunrise. The sunsets are wonderful too, but, as I said, I AM a morning person.

    This is the day the Lord has made…let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    • Wonderful to “meet” a fellow morning person–and a new commenter at that! My husband and I got to visit San Francisco this summer so I have a fresh reminder of how lovely and beautiful the city is, and yes, I know that tall buildings can offer their own gorgeous reflections of light and sun. Thanks for that reminder.

  2. The sun has risen in Jacksonville among the trees in the woods by our house and I am typing this just after I read for my devotions the verse from Psalm 113 “From the rising of the sun. . . .” which I now notice you included in your artful post today: Art meets life!

    I had to smile when I read about pretending “that a lining of clouds was a mountain range on the horizon.” We have to do that in flat Florida.

    Indeed, I am a morning star person. At one-room Cherry Hill School, we would greet the day by singing “Good morning, merry sunshine, how did you wake so soon, you scared away the little stars and shined away the moon. . . .” Great post, Melodie.( I wonder, do you live very far from Shirley Showalter?)

    • Rising of the sun indeed! Love your connection from the flats of Florida. I do live about 7 miles from Shirley, although I haven’t been able to pinpoint her exact location. Often the views she posts from her deck are similar to mine although I think hers faces the western range of mountains, mine east. I love your Cherry Hill song memory.

  3. Ha, I just found this post after you contributed it to the I Grew Up Country group on FB. Lovely photos. As an amateur photographer myself, I find it frustrating to look at the photo in comparison to the “real thing.”

    I’m a morning person living in a house with a view of the western mountains. (North College Ave.)

    Like Dolores, however, I love mornings on the deck. A great sunrise will cast splashes of color over the mountains. An indirect sunrise has its own beauty. So does the fog. Which is what is emerging in front of my eyes right now.

  4. Funny how Caroline’s words sparked my memory to dig this post up. And I know: the colors and vividness never quite do justice to reality. I enjoy your attempts though! The fog two days ago was quite mysterious and magical. My earth science/environmental daughter spoils things by telling me that part of the marvelous display of color is due to the junk we send up to the atmosphere. Okay.

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