Before 6 o'clock this Sunday morning, the dog decided it was time for me to get up. I reluctantly rolled out of bed and pulled on shorts and a T-shirt and trudged downstairs, where, it turns out, the dog did not want to go out. He just wanted me out of bed.
On the way down the stairs, though, I was treated to spectacular sight, a light from heaven as the rising sun flashed a bright welcome through the transom windows above my front door and fixed the window's image against the wall. Momentarily startled by a spotlight shining through my windows, I soon realized it was no more than a sunrise, a phenomenon I've experienced more than 24,000 times.
But for nearly all of those 24,000 sunrises, I took little notice. Oh, I got up early to get a picture of the sunrise over the water on beach trips, and I might savor the colors and majesty of a sunrise in the mountains, but here at my own home, where I've lived for more than 4,400 sunrises, I was not often thrilled to see the sun flash its brilliance into my foyer.
I have excuses. Clouds sometimes obscure the dawn. Heavy rain throws a wet blanket on sunrises and sunsets. Some weekends, the dog lets me sleep past sunrise. In winter, the sunrise is late, and I'm already up and drinking coffee, reading the newspaper and preparing for the day. Some weekdays, I am too consumed with getting ready for work that I don't stop to see the sun's rays as they dance through the pine trees and beam through the eastward-facing windows. My life is not focused on enjoying the dawn or seeing the light. It should be. I seriously doubt that I will have another 24,000 chances to see the way the sun shines like a laser through windows early in the morning.