Waiting on the sun to rise... and other musings from the road.
Waiting on the sun - Cape Ann - Rockport, MA 10/9/13
I’m on the plane home from my bucket list/business trip to New England. The lost rental car key fiasco now long behind me, I turned my second rental in without incident… Although, I still find myself checking for the keys at least one every fifteen seconds or so.
I’ve already completely freaked out on more than one occasion, as if there’s some sort of delay between the searching and remembering that I’m not responsible for those keys – or any keys in particular at the moment.
This was my solution for most of the trip…
I have a confession to make, although it’s really more of a fact than it is a confession: often times, I have a smallish cocktail at the airport prior to boarding the plane. I just do. It’s not that I’m scared of flying – I’m really not. No, it’s just more that the notion of flying has the tendency to sway my mental frame of mind from that of pragmatic logic to a sort of prolonged, silent panic.
In those moments between boarding and reaching cruising altitude, while everyone else is busily chatting or texting or thumbing through the latest skymall magazine, I’m sitting upright, deathgripping the armrests of my seat, eyes closed trying to pray while my brain is suggesting that we recount every detail of every major commercial airliner crash of the twentieth century instead.
So yea, I’m just saying - it helps with that. Or at least I like to think that it does.
Swiping through my Instagram images, I’ve decided I should self-publish my own little photojournalistic book of my collective travels. I think I’ll call it How not to lose your rental car keys… or something like that. I’ve decided that it will have to be more photographs and fewer words, because as much as I’d love to spend all of my free time writing when I travel, more often than not I find myself speechless, utterly wordless, taking in all that surrounds me.
Yea, this trip was like that.
Words aren’t really requisite for describing the beauty of New England in the fall. Even the photographs fail to do justice. It’s one of those things you have to see and feel for yourself.
I hadn’t been on a solo trip in a long time – as long as I can remember, in fact. And though I had meetings interspersed among scenic routes, I stopped along the way to take photographs. I explored coastal towns on foot, ate my lunches and dinners alone and watched every sunrise and sunset that I could. Taking it all in one step, one photograph and one breath full of sea salty air at a time.
I don’t know where to begin to write about it all. It moved me and the words will come in time, like aftershocks reverberating from within. Eventually, they will have to spill out. They always do.
The coastal town of Rockport was my favorite. I was only there for one night and when the sun had disappeared my vantage point, I’d chased it in my car all the way down to the port, capturing it just before it disappeared into the westward horizon. It was pure adrenaline. “This”, I thought, “is my fix” … or “my jam” as my friend Amy would say. This rushing after the beauty – and capturing it.
That night, I could hardly sleep with anticipation of the morning. From my room at the inn, I could hear the waves lapping and lashing onto the rocky coast and the sound of wind lightly howling between my door and the exterior screen door. It was far past midnight, but I was wide awake. I tried reading, and counting sheep, and reading some more, and at last, literally praying for sleep to come…
I’d set my alarm for 6 knowing that sunrise was at exactly 6:48. As soon as it sounded, I hurriedly dressed and began to walk the road winding in front of the inn. I knew I’d need to walk around a bend to be facing fully east. I knew because I’d used my compass.
Yea, I was serious about pursuing this sunrise.
I found the perfect spot on some rocks down below the road and carefully stepped onto them, finally settling on one that looked the most comfortable for sitting.
And I waited.
And waited some more.
Had I always been so impatient?
Just last night, I’d literally chased it down and now here I am, in the cold predawn hours alone on the coast of northern Massachusetts, just waiting for it.
Yea, life’s like that.
And you know, it’s always in those moments that you know, there has to be a lesson in this. Isn’t this the ways of our Lord? Always reaching, always teaching..
I thought of how many times I’ve chased down things of my own will, of my own accord, and on my own terms.
How many times I’d chased the wrong things because I was so unwilling to wait, so ridiculously impatient.
At exactly 6:46, I positioned my camera, looking through the lens. The next two minutes seemed to last as along as the previous twenty. And at 6:47, the eastern sky came alive with color, taking the night captive – and my breath away. At 6:48, the first rays of bright light peeked over the horizon and though my camera was perfectly positioned, I was no longer peering through its lens.
In that moment, it was as though the while thing was just for me. All of it.
Sometimes, we are called to pursue, to chase after His calling, His purpose, His beauty. Sometimes, we are called to wait. Sometimes, we are called to simply be still and know... that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
And still, as faithful as the rising sun is the faithful Son – whose will is always accomplished, in His perfect timing.
Learn to wait on the sun. And on The Lord.
“Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
~ Psalm 27:14