It’s an hour before sunrise, the blue hour. The stars make their final curtain call as they slowly bow out to wispy tendrils of dark violet and crimson streaking across a sky seemingly made of ink. There is that finite moment between the overlap of evening and morning where everything is frozen on the cusp of infinite possibility. The world is not yet awake and there is a stillness as palpable as an audience in a concert hall. The dark hues shift into a kaleidoscope of reds and gold as the symphony of dawn begins with the opening notes of a lone, unseen bird. The brightening sky thaws me from my placid reverie as the sound of lonely footsteps echo off the sidewalk with shutters one by one opening all around. Life with all its aggrandized agendas has begun once again.
I have had approximately 15,000 sunrises similar to this in my lifetime and I can’t even fathom how many were missed, ignored or left unappreciated. There have been a few remarkable ones that I have been fortunate to witness. I have seen the early morning sun reflect off the snowcaps of Mt Fuji. I have watched Mt. Vesuvius transform from a silhouette to an angry, albeit sleeping giant under a Pompeii sky. I have listened to the cacophony of the streets of London not even miss a beat while neon signs fade and give way to another gray, wet British dawn. Geography plays an important role in the aesthetic appreciation of this time of day, but I sit here in a small kitchen in Germany looking out of a window and realize that where we are emotionally is equally important.
I swore to myself that I would avoid any syrupy cliché’s if I ever decided to start writing publicly again. Yet, here I am spending almost half an hour thinking of creative ways to proclaim all of this as the dawn of my new life. I guess cliché’s are unavoidable. Wherever there is a sunrise, there is a corresponding sunset somewhere else. The sun finally sets on a life that was and rises 5,000 miles away in a modest flat in North-Rein Westphalia. There is much I have to do and I will undoubtedly have periods of worry and despair. Money will be tight, communication will be difficult, and some of the comforts of my former home will be longed for in moments of weakness. Perhaps, it is the stereotypical American optimism talking but I believe I will be appreciating a lot more of these German sunrises.
I have a partner, best friend and wife who has been my rock for seven years and I have a daughter who sees the world with wide eyed enthusiasm that reminds me to laugh. Not to mention, I have a pretty good view.