Dawn of a New Day

Good morning, Better Lifers!  What a glorious day.  I hope you take a moment from your busy Saturdays to simply breathe, look around you, and smile.

I’ve been rather contemplative lately.  I just feel so FULL of Life, in a quiet, contented way.  I think perhaps my senses are becoming more finely tuned to the little things in each day that bring me peace and happiness. Combined, they can outweigh the moments of the blechy stuff – the chaos and frustrations of everyday life.

Anyway, in this spirit of contented contemplation, I awoke this morning with a clear mission in mind . . .

First of all, keep in mind that I don’t use alarm clocks anymore.  Beau might as well be an alarm clock because he wakes so early and regularly.  Angel, too.  I love waking slowly to the quiet sounds of their morning stirrings, the buzz of an early boat carrying someone to work on a neighboring island, the darkness slowly dispersing as I blink my way into the day.

So, at 6:30 a.m. this morning, I was sleepily making coffee and giving Angel her breakfast.  However, already having my mission in mind, I skipped other morning routines (dishes, email, etc.), put on some clothes, grabbed my camera and headed out the door.  Angel scampered happily along with me toward the golf cart, excited to go for a ride and likely curious about this deviation from our usual morning routines.

Our mission?  To experience the sunrise, up close and personal.

On this small island, I face west and enjoy glorious sunsets on a near-daily basis.  As much as I love and appreciate such beauty at the close of the day, there’s just something special about the peaceful quiet of morning and the anticipation of a new day that prompted me to go get a sunrise fix.

Five minutes after we left home, Angel and I arrived on the eastern side of the island, the “ocean ridge” where the waters are less protected and rougher.  From here, we enjoyed the dawn of this new day . . .

6:45 a.m.

The sun has not yet shown her face, but her advance team has begun to brighten the eastern sky.

Turning slightly southeast, the sky pinkens and the sea grass blows in the wind down the long stretch of empty beach.

We walk down the sand dunes and onto the beach.  Not another soul in sight, we enjoy the serenity of the beach with only the sounds of the wind and the waves.

Well, I am serene.  Angel is beyond excited at this big-beach freedom.  She races down the beach, then gallops back toward me with a happy, panting grin.

As the sun continues her journey toward the horizon, I am struck by the beauty of a large rock jutting out of the sand at the shoreline.  It’s glossy surface and ragged edges are beautiful.  The pretty and peaceful symbolism of a rock in the midst of a stormy sea comes to mind for me as well.

As Angel and I stroll along, I am also reminded of a beloved childhood poem that used to hang on my bedroom wall, Footprints in the Sand.  Do you remember it?

I turn back to look at our path, and I see Angel’s tiny paw prints next to mine.

We return to our starting point and sit down to take in the rest of the sunrise.

 Here she comes!  The sun rises, a tiny orange ball sitting on the horizon.

And now, getting larger . . .

 And higher in the sky . . .

 Beautiful.  A new Dawn.

Sated, Angel and I strolled from the water’s edge, through the soft sand, up the dunes to the golf cart waiting on the rocky road up high on the ridge.

I brushed the sand from her pink belly and off of her paws, deposited her on the seat, took a swig of coffee, and turned the golf cart toward home.

As we drove back to the western side of the island, I continued to enjoy the brightening sky, noticing how the pinks and oranges bounced off the clouds reflected in the western sky.

So imagine my delight when I arrived home to a breathtaking rainbow!

Angel and I went out back, to the calm shallow water, and I could see the rainbow emerging from a little cay and stretching into the clouds …

 . . . ending only when it encountered the brilliant blue sky.

A rainbow!  What a glorious finale to our sunrise experience!

Then, as a delightful post-script, Angel and I enjoyed a visit from our neighbor dog, Billie Girl.  They sniffed each other, tails wagging, then Billie came over to give me kisses and check out the trail of scents in our yard.

After more doggie kisses (and a wave to Billie’s Momma to let her know where Billie was), I headed back inside.  Angel cooled down from her adventure, and I continued to nurse my coffee.  (I also ate a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast.  Just because.  Oh glorious day!)

On this quiet morning, I give thanks for so much:  the simplicity of the day, the inspiration to go on our excursion, the majestic beauty of the sunrise, the startling surprise of a rainbow, the friendship of neighbors, the love of dogs, the delicious decadence of chocolate cake, the peace of the ocean and sky, the Grace that brought me here and so much more.

And as I write, I think of you, my beloved family and friends and my dear Better Life readers, and I give thanks for each of you, too.  Have a wonderful weekend.

12 Responses to Dawn of a New Day

  • Sarah says:

    Oh WOW, Dawn! Those are the most beautiful, spiritual sunrise pictures I think I've ever seen. Amazing, just amazing! Thank you so much for letting me know where my errant puppy dog had disappeared! Glad you three enjoyed a good visit and I just wish I'd followed her over. 🙂 Have a beautiful peaceful rest of your day!

  • Dawn says:

    Thanks so much, Sarah! Coming from your creative photographer self, I consider that high praise. Yes, I should've given you a sniff of my chocolate cake cuz it's long gone now! 🙂 Have a beautiful, peaceful day yourself!

  • Hi neighbor,Thank you so much for this mornings blog. So eloquent and descriptive,it made me feel as if I was actually there, but in doing so, it also made me feel soooooo homesick, it was hard to hold back the tears! What a simple, peaceful and wonderful life. You, and the lucky few that experience it on a daily basis are truly blessed!See you soon I hope. Barry

  • Dawn says:

    Barry, thank you so much for your sweet comment. You and Suzanne are part of my sunrise EVERY day! Since I don't usually haul out to the ocean beach, I simply gaze at the eastern sky from my front porch, necessarily seeing your house and thinking warm thoughts of you. Will be great to have you back to your island home. See you soon, and thanks for taking the time to post a comment.

  • Anonymous says:

    Your inner peace pervades this piece! Thank you for the refreshing reminder of life – the better life, for all of us!

  • Dawn says:

    Thank you so much for your comment! Although I (obviously!) love my island setting, I always hope to convey the point that our Better Life can be wherever we are. Glad you got that out of today's post. Enjoy your own Better Life, inner peace and have a wonderful weekend!

  • JJ says:

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures!!! I enjoy the change of seasons and we started fall yesterday–leaves are starting to fall and the temperature is cooling off a little bit—it is also college football season and ECU played UNC yesterday on ESPN!!! In the midst of that, it was inspiring to see your beautiful sunrise pictures which make me wish for a last trip to the beach! Hope you and Beau and puppy are doing well after your summer adventures!XO, J

  • Dawn says:

    Thanks, JJ, for taking the time to comment! I also enjoy the change of seasons. It's just that they're much more subtle here! 🙂 Glad to hear all is well in your corner of the world. Have a good back-to-school and fall season!

  • Brenen Zey says:

    Aunt Dawn, I want to run away live with you!!! School is stressful and Kansas is noticeably lacking in sunrise, rainbow, and ocean departments. Also, I'm pretty sure Jasper was meant to be an island dog.Love, Brenen and JBoo

  • Dawn says:

    Oh, sweet Brenen, the life of a college girl – writing at 2am! 🙂 Thanks for your entertaining comments. Never fear, fearless woman. I, too, was a landlocked Kansas collegiate – you just never know where you'll end up! Keep enjoying the journey, and the antics of Jasper along the way. Love and hugs to you!

  • Thank you for that experience. It was beautiful and so are you! xo

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