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on Dec 31, 2009 in Friday Thoughts

The Sun Does Rise!

It was bloody early, I mean, it hurt to hear the alarm go off and force the eyelids open. The prior day had been a helluva long one. Like always, up prior to sunrise, checked the emails, took care of business and then met the group in the parking lot in pitch darkness. Shot and talked all day and after dinner looked at images and talked until 11PM. Went back to my room and proceeded to upload images from the day, get them filled, get two blog postings completed and scheduled and then took care of work. Two hours before the alarm went off, I had just fallen to sleep. I just hoped I was getting up and going through this to be rewarded with one helluva sunrise.

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I say that because many times in the past, I had paid what in my mind were my dues and was owed a great sunrise only to be served up yuck. I know, one man’s yuck is another man’s treasure but when working on just adrenaline, yuck is yuck and such words of wisdom run right off your back. I looked at the weather radar, did some quick calculations in my head and figured we were screwed. The sun would rise but it would just burst on the scene and then we’d go from darkness to light with nothing in between. We’d get up this bloody early, drive two hours (that’s the crazy part) and park on the ridge only to get skunked. Even with all of that pulsing through my mind, the engines started and off we drove.

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It might just be me, but when I get in the truck and start to make such a drive, my mind begins to wander and takes me places where it normally doesn’t go just sitting at my desk. Many of my articles, workshops and project ideas come during these drives. Knowing that about myself, I always (well almost always) have pad of paper and pen with me to jot things down. The creation of DLWS & Base Camp came from the cab of my truck on a drive; the open road just seems to clear out “stuff” making room for creativity to flow. Typically, just like this morning, my mind slammed back to reality in seeing the first glimmer of light on the horizon. On this particular morning, the overcast I’d seen on the radar had broken just enough that there was a small aperture in the clouds to the east. Damn, we could be late for a great sunrise! 90mph seemed too slow but go we must. Please, no ranger in the shack, we gotta make time!

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Right now is when the drivers in the cars following me say something like, “Damn, Moose is a speed freak!” (or something worse) as they uncomfortably try to catch up. The drive is new and the location never before explored so they don’t know what they might be missing but with faith in me, they get up to speed and the chase is on. We make the turn off the highway and hit the country road, the rolling road giving you that Smokey & the Bandit thrill ride. Ahead is the ranger shack and entrance to the Nat’l Park. I slow for only a heartbeat when I see no one is there and then I floor it. OK, no bison, prong or sheep on the road, we keep on going. We make the bends in the road and head down the small rise and there is the parking spot. We pull in and get out of the cars. The faces of the folks looked like they just came out of a jet with no canopy. I quickly explain what gear they might want and then point and say, “It’s Comin’, GO!”

As sunrises go, it’s not killer, it’s not bad and in fact, it’s pleasant enough to suck you in for quite a while as the day’s glow climbs into the sky. It’s a good morning!

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The calendar is about to flip a page and a New Year rises up before us tomorrow. You might be checking the radar and not seeing bright, clear skies before you. Looking back on past experiences when you’ve been skunked, you might not want to get up and tackle another day. Yet we do and as we start out towards that goal, something tends to take over. The mind clears and on that journey creativity filters in and takes over until reality snaps us back. Only speaking for myself here, but I’m not sure I would know something is great if I didn’t have that other end of the spectrum for comparison. Without that suckie sunrise, how would I know the one before me is glorious? I don’t go out seeking the yucky ones to have a measure, but I don’t let it stop me from going out the next time. No matter how bad the year might have been for you, there was surely at least one great time, experience or photograph that came from it that you will always treasure. Take that inspiration, learn from the rest and make 2010 a great year for yourself. The journey will have its ups and downs but you will be better for it. Always remember that no matter what happens, tomorrow, the sun will rise!

Happy New Year to you all!