15 Minutes Later

We have been bombarded with snow and blasted with cold for the past few days, and the whole landscape has changed. I measured 15 inches of powdery snow in our yard Sunday morning, and we got another 3 inches or so today.

This morning, the mist looked so ethereal rising from the frozen, snow-blanketed river. There were cotton candy pink and blazing tangerine clouds. I took the picture below about 15 minutes before leaving for work and was not able to wait for the sun to reveal itself above the treeline behind the bridge because it was too close to the time I needed to leave.

Fifteen minutes later, however – right after pulling out of the driveway – I was mesmerized by the most breathtaking sunrise I have ever experienced. It was the golden hour magic moment, and the golden sun illuminated clusters of snow-dusted trees in the most enchanting way. The rising mist swirled like white light in the midst of it all. It was perfect. And it barely lasted longer than the duration of my brief commute, for the rest of the day was overcast and snowy.

This was a morning when I wished more than anything that I didn’t have a classroom full of five-year-olds needing me to arrive at a very specific time because this was the magic moment of the day, and I had to just keep driving through it despite having my camera in the car. It wasn’t a matter of leaving too late because if I had left earlier, the moment wouldn’t have happened yet; the sun rises too late at this time of year. Sometimes I wish I could be just a few minutes late every now and then and pull over and capture – or even just linger in – something so tremendously beautiful. At least I was able to witness it. But I would have preferred to be completely enveloped by it and on my knees in gratitude and awe.

I hope that sometime this winter all the conditions will come together at exactly the right time so I can experience this enchanting sight again on a morning when I am not in a hurry to get to work.

A friend commented that my desire to stop and more fully experience today’s sunrise reminded her of Edwin Romond’s “Excuse Poem” – a line about being “caught in a sunrise.” I was not familiar with the poem but immediately embraced the idea. Eventually she sent the poem to me, but not before I had written a version of my own in which I did follow my heart’s desire and stop the car. It expresses the importance of connecting with light during this darkest week of the year:

Please forgive me for being late.
I left on time but was caught
in the most astonishing sunrise
magic moment stoplight
and could not resist the invitation
to linger while large, orange sun
climbed trees on eastern shore
and illuminated snow-dusted forest,
while white mist danced above river
below powder blue sky:
winter Solstice week golden hour
breathtaking delight:
the Most Important Thing of All.
How could I possibly not
brake for love and drop to my knees,
face the illuminated world and pray
with utmost sincerity and awe:
Thank you for this new day 
and for the eyes to see it.

             © Susan Meyer 2013

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 © Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography (www.riverblissed.blogspot.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.