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I am not a morning person. Never have been, and probably never will be.
When I was little, before the advent of personal computer systems and digital games, the big thing in the world of the youth was Saturday morning cartoons. They were so important to us that the networks, all three of them, would hold a special the Friday evening before the start of the new season to highlight the new and old cartoons that would be gracing the television sets until lunch on Saturdays.
My favorite happened to be a spinoff of a Japanese cartoon in which the cartoon was completely redone story wise, and the English language was dubbed over it. The name of it was The Battle of the Planets. The most disheartening thing about the cartoon was the network ran it at 7 a.m.
So, for several months, my mom would wake me up at 7 on Saturday so I could watch this cartoon. By the end of the first commercial break, I was fast asleep on the couch. Sometime around Scooby Doo or Hong Kong Phooey I would awaken once again, distraught that I had slept through the cartoon I dearly wanted to see.
Of course, as I became older, entered the workforce and had kids, mornings forced me to experience them. And by experience, I mean at the minimum be in a standing comatose and able to at least nod yes or no to people.
I haven’t joined the fad of becoming a coffee drinker. My only assistant to an early morning was my Mountain Dew. Regardless of what people may say, either Mountain Dew doesn’t have that much caffeine or my body has become caffeine tolerant and considers it a daily staple such as food and water.
Now that this complimentary backstory has been established, the gist of this column is about to become apparent. In fact, in terms of symbolism, the previous paragraphs serve the purpose of slowly bringing light, and in the next paragraph, the dawn will appear. Literally. Well, not literally, but symbolically literal.
Sunrises are a magnificent creation. Sometimes our views are obscured by clouds or blocked horizons. However, when you can truly see the sun rise, it can be a life, or at the least, a mood-changing experience.
The warm, deep orange glow as the sun breaches landscape means so much more to me now. If I happen to be in a location that offers a really good view, I no longer have to force myself to get up and out. My body begins the process without an alarm clock or wife shoving me, or even a dog or two rapidly prancing up and down my body in anticipation of relieving themselves. No, I begin the process of waking up on my own.
It doesn’t matter if I had three or seven hours of sleep. My body just knows.
And I am better for it.
I cannot say whether it is something that I have just grown to love, or if it is because I know that sunrises are a limited resource. I mean, we only have so many sunrises we can experience in a lifetime. They are kind of like M&M’s, I suppose. When you first start eating them, you may toss a handful in your mouth, but when there are just a few left in the bag, you may crack the candy shell with your teeth first and then savor the chocolate.
The experience of a beautiful sunrise changes the whole outlook upon the day. It not only warms with the display of the morning light, it warms something within the soul.
And as a friend once told me, every sunrise is beautiful, you just have to experience it. Of course, he also had a cup of coffee in his hand.