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Sunrises Over Southern Cities

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Burning orange into the French quarter the sun peeked into the night, before washing it away into the hustling, rushing of cars and people. As they squint up at the dreadful brighness that it is morning. They wish the light away, wish they did not have to start a new day.

I never wish the sun to wait to rise, I welcome it as it pushes the dark night's blacks and blues from around me and bathes me in the warmth of the day's colors. Waking every single part of my body with a tingle that creeps like a weed through my weariness and explodes into a lush bloom. Destroying my exhaustion renewing my will to push on through another day. I don't think many appreciate every sunrise as much as I do or as much as they do a sunset.

I have shared many sunsets with those I care for, friends or people so close, it doesn't matter that the blood is not there, they are my family because our spirits, our karmas, our perceptions of the world binds us to one another. Watching the sun fall with them or alone, so simple yet such an amazing way to end a day. A perfect way to spend time. I'm sure most everyone finds it a good way to end a day with someone close. Look how movies, books, poems immortalize light sinking into darkness. Awe inspiring, romantic, magical, as the sun slowly falls asleep in the horizons lap, deep blues, playful pinks, purples that you become lost in, caressing and dancing together, a celebration in the heavens for the death of the day. The stars slowly begin to sing out their twinkling light through the twisting swirling tye-dye canvas, lulling the sun to sleep. Watching over everyone as if the stars were angels above, guiding us safely through the night. I love sunsets and the soothing effect they have on our souls, how no one looks at the colors and beauty and says, "So what I have seen that before." The thought of saying it never corsses our mind, why? Because every sunset is its' own, different and unique, just like we are, maybe that is why we all can enjoy the show.
I don't think enough if any people say, "I can't wait for the sunrise," I wonder sometimes, "Am I the only one", the single person who can feel when the sun is about to wake and can't wait for it to happen. I don't know how so many people sleep through what has to be one of the most beautiful times of day.

Isn't the beginning more if not as wonderful as the end? Birth more exciting and fullfilling than the death. Not knowing and having to find out what is going to happen, instead of reflecting on what has already come to pass. I guess most people are just so use to sleeping in that they have forgotten that their adventure into the unknown future starts while your eyes are still closed shut, to blinded by dreams to see the light of the beginning. Sunrises can be just as if not more fulfilling than sunset. If you are willing to wait for them or pry yourself from bed before the sun does. I don't always want to wake up early, I like to sleep in but it does not keep me from catching a sunrise here and there, and only every once in a while can I get someone to wake-up and share it with me. Sleepy eyes always ask me, "Why are you getting me up," or "What's wrong." I answer "Lets watch the sunrise." The usual reply is, "Why?" I often wonder what I should say the next time I hear the question asked of me? Should I say, "Because it is there," or "Because it is the perfect way to start your day," or the classic parents love to use, "Because. That's why." I usually just give up, saying, "Never mind," and leave them alone to their sleep. Alone I enjoy the bright morning colors, acting almost alive as they shoot towards me through the dark void of night, sowing a blanket of warm color around me.

My appreciation and love for the sunrise must have began around five years old when I was staying the summer with my grandparents in Mobile, Alabama. A half-hour before the sun crawled out of bed my grandfather would make me get out of mine so we could beat it to the park. As we walked down the front porch I could feel my heart beat faster, I felt I was racing the sun to the park, I thought if we did not hurry it might get there before we did. My tiny legs uneasy as my feet felt they would slip on the damp pebbly sidewalk leading to the fence. Out the gate, down the front walk, through the neighbors yard, to a wooden bridge that moaned its creaking and howling effort from the boards under your feet then echoed it back at you from the dusty damp boards overhead. I was glad I had the hard, strong hand of my grandfather wrapped around my own, giving me strength knowing he was there encase anything spooky manifested from the creepy sounds. Up a hill of wet grass and flowers and a short walk down the cobblestone road that led to the Park. Once there we would wonder off the walking trails to a small pond spotted with Lilly-pads, surrounded by trees that were forever green, except for two that had fallen. One that had been struck by lightning had fallen creating a bench just for me. I would plop down and rest as my grandfather lit his cherry smelling pipe the smoke whisping around him as he shucked walnuts; our popcorn for our private morning show as the others slept in not caring about the magic about to happen. He never forgot to bring a bag of them and we always had plenty since my family owns acres and acres of walnut orchards. Still I would greedily stuff them in my mouth as fast as he could break the shells, thinking I could eat a whole orchard with my hungry morning tummy. The moon would still be lingering fearlessly, holding on to its sky as the great massive orange and yellow globe began its daily climb. I would stare into its endless flames, intently watching for any hint that it might not do what it had done every other morning. Wondering if it might decide it was tired and just stop at the start, never finish its never-ending climb up and slide down the sky, or maybe it would just rush right to the end and go back to sleep. I would not blame it, another night of dreams in a soft and warm bed sounded good to me too. As always it slowly but diligently rose and I was just as amazed as the first time I watched the Sun rise up and bringing life to the sleeping world.

I sat still the dampness of the dew that covered every inch of the city would begin to chill me. He would put me on his knee, holding me tightly in his loving arms that then seemed like massive gnarled tree trunks protecting my small body from the coldness. I have always been prone to get sick so both my grandparents did what they could to protect me from becoming unwell. One doctor they took me to said they should keep me inside for an entire year. What kind of life would that have been for a child or anyone? Locked inside so you do not get sick. Even at that age I would have rather run free and die of a cold then be held from the awe and beauty of the world.

Brighter and brighter the sun would grow its warmth running the chill away. From a soft reddish-orange to a bright piercing yellow-white as it began to get higher. My grandfather would tell me not to stare at it anymore or I would hurt my eyes. But when I thought he was not looking I would glance at it again until we started our trip home. He would continue feeding me the walnuts. I never ate another walnut after he died they did not taste good anymore. Maybe it was just my love for him that made them taste good, maybe it was just the fact that he loved me and took the time to open them for me that made them taste so delicious. After I had my fill he would put me back into bed, so I could rest of for my busily scheduled day of playing.

The sunrise was a part of me and I wanted to share it. I looked into the room at the woman sleeping. Never had I let someone be so close to me, never had I cared about someone so much that I let them know who I really was. Maybe I loved her so much because I had found out who I was because of how I felt connected to her. I watched Zoe sleep more intently than I had ever watched anything. I wanted to wake her I wanted so much to share this sunrise with her, a sunrise that was just for us. But lying there she was so peaceful, I couldn't wake her with her looking so content. A breeze flowed through the balcony entrance. My dreamy gaze broke as Zoe shivered, the cool air invading her haven of warmth and comfort among the blankets and pillows. I walked over to her, tucked the blanket tightly around her and stole a small kiss. I grabbed a pack of cigarettes I had hid in my backpack and walked out to the balcony closing the doors behind me so no other gusts would sneak in on my sleeping angel.

I lit the cigarette and slowly breathed in, the smoke filling my lungs with warmth as I observed the world below me. As a rule I try to never smoke, I think it is one of the most disgusting and distasteful acts but every once in a while I don't see the harm in breaking a rule. I watched the city being painted as the sun brought the colors of the sleeping city to life. I let the smoke find its own way between my lips, it danced and swirled around me. Light crept up to my feet slowly washing the weary chill of night away replacing it with a intense warm that pulsed more and more as the sun clambered from its bed. I started to see people wake running out of their homes with a cup of coffee in one hand, the other searching for their keys. Coming from their hiding places where they can dream the world they wish existed but being pushed back every morning into the real world, the world society tells us we must live in. Others went into hiding, the sun chasing them away as it ate the darkness they could no longer use to escape reality. I heard the door open. A slender arm slipped around me, a head rested on my chest as the other arm slipped behind me, "I was dreaming of you," Zoe said.

She pressed close to me hiding her eyes from the light, I could feel her breathing, her heart beating inside and I forgot about all the troubles of the real world, forgot there was a world other than her an I. Slowly she looked up into my eyes smiling, "I thought we agreed we would both stop smoking," she slipped the cigarette from my hand and took a long drag. As more smoke from her lips slithered around us, Zoe dropped the cigarette from her hand, it rolled off the balcony, and it's burning light shattered like glass across the dark road below, the ashes slowly burning out just like the stars were fading in the sky. I watched it cling to life until a passing car rubbed it into the dirty road. I held Zoe closer; she leaned up kissing me. We stood there in each other's arms until the sun had completely come out and started its laboring truck through the sky. Zoe kissed me again as she walked back into the room leaving me alone with only my smile and longing to have her in my arms again.

I thought how amazing it is that all the hell of life can be worth it for just one single moment when you are truly alive. When all time stops and you are on a new level of understanding happiness, when you begin to finally realize what life is for. What makes it all worth trudging on through, struggling for answers, fighting for beliefs, trying to just find what purpose you can serve that really makes you satisfied to have a heart throbbing and pumping in your chest. It is probably not the same for any of us. I don't know how many people ever even find their answer in life. Mine was finding someone I could trust and love, learning that that person was myself. Learning that the only person I ever had to please was myself and I could just be myself. After finding me I began to take chances on other people and I began realizing it was OK to love and trust others. I don't know when I started searching for my answer but I know when I started to find what I was looking for.

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