At dawn

The chances of each of us coming into existence are infinitesimally small, and even though we shall all die some day, we should count ourselves fantastically lucky to get our decades in the sun. -Richard Dawkins


I watched the Sun rise this morning.

At first, there was a sliver of light through the trees. Then, more light. The small, sleepy, dog at my side sat staring solemnly toward the east, too, making me wonder whether it was instinct or simple curiosity that kept her attention for so long.

Suddenly, the light on the horizon changed to a deep rose. Then, a second or two later the entire eastern sky looked to be engulfed in flame. And then, finally, it was daylight.

One more day.  I got one, and so did you.

The sun rose today, just as it has every day of my nearly fifty-seven years of living. It rose over mud huts and marble mansions.  It rose over gleaming skyscrapers in large cities and dusty cabins full of sleepy grouse hunters. It rose over the children of Aleppo and frantic mothers on the south side of Chicago weeping over sons who did not make it home this morning.

One more day. Aren’t we lucky? Do you feel it?

It rose over a critically ill young father of two waiting for a new set of lungs and an organ donor climbing into a car who took the long view concerning both life and death. It rose over a grieving mother who, in less than a year, was tasked with planning both a wedding and memorial service for the same daughter before breast cancer took her child from her.  It rose over spouses waiting for their partners to finish chemo, praying they’ll grow old watching their grandchildren grow up.

In the space between the sun’s rising and setting today, babies all over the world will take their first, gulping, grateful, breaths. The ill or elderly will shudder and sigh as they breathe their last. Seasons will change, as seasons do, and the planet will continue to spin on its axis paying no mind to the pundits, politicians,or pollsters.  It will simply keep doing what it does. It’ll turn.

So much depends on whether or not we are paying any attention at all, doesn’t it?

Especially at dawn.



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