Day 373 – Thankful for an Incredible Sunrise and Nowhere to Pull Over

Quick disclaimer, the picture attached is not from this morning.  It is meant to help describe what I saw this morning.  As the title of today’s blog reads there was no good spot to pull over for a picture today.  


As I walked out of the house to my car this morning the sunrise really caught my attention.  The outlines of the many layers of clouds were all highlighted with a very deep reddish pink, they appeared to be glowing.  I smiled, made a comment to Becky and started looking forward to my drive to work.

Stopping at the end of the street I was greeted by another incredible sight.  Looking past the airport and into the Mississippi River valley there were purplish pink clouds letting loose purplish pink rain in wide streaks across the sky.  It was amazing!  The sky seemed a watercolor painter’s canvas, all pastels and blending.

At this point I started thinking to myself that I need to find a spot to pullover so I can get a picture of the beautiful sunrise.  Mentally running through the checklist of places I’ve stopped before there wasn’t one that would have the right elevation or angle for what I wanted to get.  Another thought popped into my head and I decided to take my chances and drive, it was a ways away, but the only spot that I could think of that was on the way and that met my criteria.

Crossing the river and turning north I was welcomed to Minnesota by another scenic view.  Further up the valley was a bright pink rainbow.  It had the normal rainbow colors buried in it, but it was so vibrantly pink that it almost looked like a purely pink rainbow.  Due to the sun being just below the horizon the angle of rainbow was not normal.  The rainbow seemed to go almost straight up into the heavens, a beacon from Earth to The Big Man Upstairs.  As I observed the landscape I was eventually able to find where it came back down – another pillar of pink rainbow that seemed to go completely vertical.  The other part of the rainbow that was so awesome was that the lighting east of it was a soft purple and pink, but the light to the west was a stark contrast, blindingly pink.  The rainbow the line of delineation between one beautiful and muted purplish pink sky and a dazzling pink one.  Wishing I could take a picture I just smiled and realized that there was no way for me to do it justice in a picture.

Driving further up river and turning onto 61 the sky took on that eerily beautiful golden hue that I only see a couple of times a year at either dusk or dawn when the conditions are just right.  The colors of the leaves became more vibrant, everything else shifted color slightly, and it played tricks on my eyes.  It was gorgeous, seeing the world through a cloud of gold.

By now I’m getting closer to the spot I wanted to stop and I’m realizing that there are a few problems with my choice.  The sun is coming up higher and the colors are dampening.  The clouds are rolling in, the rain is starting to fall, and the colors are being muted by gray.  The angle is a little different than I’d remembered and there’s not a good way to capture the entire sky like I thought.

Instead of getting disappointed, I’m smiling.  In my head I’m hearing the line from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, “If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera.  I just want to stay in it.”   I’m realizing that I’ve been burning this series of beautiful views of the sunrise into my memory for the long haul, I’ve deep down known that I might not be able to capture it in a picture, but I know I can hold it forever in my brain.  There’s also a thought in my head helping me realize that maybe The Big Dude Above wants me to remember this lesson – there’s a time and a place for a picture, but there’s also a time to be in the moment.  So many thoughts, but not one of them is focused on disappointment, just gratitude for having experience this series of moments.

What an awesome start to the day?  Beautiful sunrise and views, life lessons, and gratitude.



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