By Bruce Stambaugh
I sat in awe at the beauty unfolding before me. What I had seen compelled me out into the dawn of the day.
I had slept restlessly despite having been emotionally and physically drained by the previous days’ activities. I had returned to Ohio to assist our son in preparing to move before the professional movers would shuffle him off beyond Buffalo to upstate New York for his new job.
For two long, hard days, we sorted and packed his items, and cleaned the house he was leaving for a smaller apartment. I would also stuff our van with family heirlooms and thrift store pieces to take back to Virginia. It was hard to see him off, he and I both in tears.
With those emotions still stirring internally, I surrendered to what lured me outdoors. The day was dawning with a broken cluster of wispy gray clouds hanging in the eastern sky. A spot of pink hue peeked at the horizon, giving me hope of a lovely sunrise.
I sat in the morning’s coolness on the patio waiting breathlessly for the show to begin. Would those clouds enhance or hinder a brilliant sunrise? The answer found itself in patience, not my best quality.
Nevertheless, I remained nearly alone overlooking Millersburg, Ohio from our friends’ place high on a hill. A light, feathery mist lingered over the hardwoods, farm fields, and commercial properties that filled the Killbuck Valley.
As the sky brightened ever so slightly, a menacing caw, caw, caw punctuated the morning air. I strained in the dim light to find the source of the harshness. Suddenly, a pair of inky figures, their black wings flapping furiously, repeated their raucous call.
The two American crows were on a beeline southwest in hot pursuit of another crow far ahead of them. It was like two undercover cop cars chasing a crook.
The only other sounds were human-induced, the distant hum of a few vehicles, and a dump truck on an early run from the gravel pit down the road. Neither crickets nor katydids had awakened yet.
Then it happened. A silent burst of radiance raised me out of my chair and freed me from my stupor. I danced barefoot into the dewy lawn. I soon found myself at the southeast corner of the yard where I had a better angle to view the sunrise and could ignore the obnoxiousness of an ill-placed cell tower, its red lights annoyingly blinking.
Ironically, the only camera in hand was the one on my cell phone. So I hypocritically began snapping photo after photo of the stunning, flowing scene changing second by second.
Those once gray clouds now glowed gold, yellow, orange, red, pink, mauve, and crimson. In the foreground, security lights and streetlights twinkled below the incredible show. One would think I was observing my first ever sunrise the way I clicked away.
Still, I continued to capture the incredible drama before me, not for myself so much as for others. In such a setting, my joy comes as much in the sharing as experiencing the splendor. When the sun finally poked above the horizon, I walked back towards the house.
This sunrise had awakened me as no other had. I felt renewed and refreshed from the emotions and exertions of the previous days. I was ready to begin my journey home.
For most folks, if they saw it, this was just another sunrise. To me, it was a blessed miracle.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2018