Sunrises are the beginning of each day, all fresh and new with the sweet smell of another start. I have been blessed with some of the most amazing sunrises from coast to coast, each with its very own beauty and splendor. It was still dark when I started out that morning on my 40 mile commute to work on this dark two lane road snaking its way towards Richmond, Virginia. The Richmond area was now my home, but who knows for how long? A low hanging mist is hovering about a foot off the ground as the first early pre-dawn glimpses of light start appearing in the east. As I make my way through what was once farms towards the east the sky is turning from midnight blue to a wonderful purple. Minutes later the few clouds hanging above me are dark pink trimmed in a brilliant iridescent pink and silver. The road is twisting its way through what is now a pink-purple mist. There is always an uncontrollable reaction to sunrises and sunsets, I stop whatever I am doing and enjoy. This morning would be no different as I find a place to pull off the road and take in the morning. Night people would never understand this. For morning people there is no need to explain. At times the sunrises seem to take me over, engulfing me in color and warmth. There is a moment or two just before the climax when one stops breathing in order to concentrate on what is happening and not miss a single emotion. I’m talking about sunrises here; don’t get off on something else! Just as I realize I am not breathing I gulp in a breath and my eyes close in order to store what I just saw in my memory. This morning’s sunrise takes me back to another time and place.
We were in southeast Ohio, pre-dawn, winding down a country two lane highway. We had been up all night playing pool in Toledo, Ohio. The game had broken up about one in the morning, we were some five hundred ahead. A good take added to the stake we already had set aside for the trip east. Our second month on the road, I was growing accustom to the all night games, sleeping in the car, aching for a shower and a real bed, going without breakfast and watching the sun start another day from the driver side of the windshield. This morning was no different.
Kelley was sound asleep, slumped over in the passenger side of the bench seat of our 1962 Chevy. These were the days when we could buy a good car for a hundred dollars, drive it till the wheels fell off and buy another. Thelma was the name I tagged this blue and white, four door, traveling house. Everything we owned was in the back seat or trunk. Sometimes Thelma was our hotel; sometimes she was our safe-haven from bad guys, our shelter, and our security. Thelma was a bargain, only 79,000 miles on her, only eight years old, purchased in Flint Michigan by Kelley; talking the salesman down to one hundred and ten dollars, tax, title, and off the lot. Thelma really was a steal.
I slowed down gradually as to not wake Kelley up when I saw a wide spot in the shoulder of the road. I coasted to a stop and shut Thelma down. The whole sky and all that lie before me was glowing purple with shafts of pink stabbing though the mist. The mist was so heavy it was gathering on the windshield in big droplets, each taking in the color and shining pink. The windows were down. The air was sweet and in the distance I could hear the morning calls from the farmland crows. There was no traffic, no other cars, no one even leaving their quiet houses that were scattered along the highway, headed off to the cities to work. As I sat there in the eerie quietness of the early morning I was overcome by the brilliant colors that were engulfing me. The mist was starting to burn off as the sun peaked over the trees, the sky turning from a hot pink to a golden yellow as I leaned my head on the side of the driver’s door. The sun warming my face.
I was jolted awake by a tapping sound on the side of the car. I straightened up to find a local county sheriff standing next to the car. “Yes sir”, always be polite to the man.
“Everything alright Miss?” He asked as he took a good look into the car. Kelley was still hard asleep after being up for three days.
Going Nowhere Fast is FREE this weekend on Amazon! Enjoy the experience!