This morning, August 19, 2014, was the quintessential morning in Columbus, Ohio.
The dog days of summer are here and the kids just started back at school. They’re the reason I was up earlier than normal actually, to catch this perfect morning. I’ll need to be home to get my daughter Ella off the bus this afternoon. Mornings like this seem almost magical for some reason. What makes a quiet, calm morning so different? So special?
Since the high today is supposed to be in the upper 80’s, 7am was a perfect 65 degrees. The sky was the most pure pink, purple, and blue pastels I have ever witnessed with a few high, wispy clouds thrown in just for contrast. On my drive to work I pass the same hawk waiting on the same power line looking for her (his?) meal almost every day. This morning she happened to find her breakfast just as I was passing; she hovered for a moment, then swooped down and pounced on her prey. I was gone before I got to see what she caught.
I think that was the moment it hit me though – with nature in its purest form playing out; the mist hovering over the pristine corn fields and the crickets still singing their nighttime tunes, I woke up to the world around me. I turned the radio off, rolled the windows down and just took it all in. Sure, the kids were heading off to school and the parents to work, but for the most part everything was calm. All the trees were green and the grass mowed. I truly thought for a moment I was living inside the documentary, ‘Sunrise Earth.’ –It’s an hour-long, episodic nature documentary where a location is filmed at dawn – a beach, a brook, a fisherman’s wharf – simply capturing the views and the sounds letting you experience the sunrise in all its glory.
But that was the most magical part for me, I think. As I crested a bridge over the railroad tracks I could see all the way to the eastern horizon. There stood the most perfect orange sphere you could imagine hanging barely above the morning landscape. It was no brighter than the full moon! I was able to stare directly at it! I was able to stare down the life-giver. The ‘Immaculate Being’ who shines so bright whom mere mortals can never directly observe. It was there just mingling with the common folk. If there was ever a time to be able to see naked-eye sunspots, this would have been it. The atmosphere and moisture in the air blocked most of the light, giving me the gift of invisible, magic-spy-goggles where I could momentarily view His Majesty, Helios.
I drove on passed glass ponds and duck families gathering their breakfast. Passed corn fields so perfect you could swear they were out of an artist’s painting. Even after I arrived at work, the lunchroom was still, with only a hint of fresh oatmeal in the air! If fresh hot oatmeal isn’t the official smell of a great morning, I don’t know what is…
My fleeting drive to work this morning was a gift. It was a simple gift that I hope to remember for some time. It was a an experience that I hope others can have on their own time and one which I will seek out more and more from now on.