I don’t have a habit of entering photo contests, but when one finds me I’m not averse. Several years ago, my workplace asked its photographers to submit their best work. I entered this photo and took first prize: a $50 gift card. Nice!
I shared this photo in October, 2011, shortly after I took it. Here’s what I wrote about it then:
During the school year my sons stay overnight at my home on Wednesdays. We like our relaxed evening family time. But school starts early, and none of us enjoys getting up long before sunrise the next morning for the 45-minute drive to their mother’s suburb. We stumble around the house getting dressed and eating breakfast, and then we climb into the car for the trip. We listen to music or NPR; sometimes we talk, sometimes they play video games on their hand-held devices.
When my sons are adults, we will surely talk about these times and reflect on the good and the bad. But even in the circumstances we wish were different, we sometimes encounter unexpected moments of joy or of beauty. We’ve seen plenty of beautiful sunrises as we travel eastward on Thursday mornings, sunrises we surely would have missed otherwise. I was fortunate to have my good camera along one recent Thursday morning when the sky’s colors were especially vivid. These sunrises have taught me, and I hope my sons as well, to look for the good in unwanted circumstances.
Mercifully, the Thursday-morning drives across town have ended. My younger son has wanted to just go home on Wednesday nights for years, but my older son was clear that he didn’t want to let go of any family time. But then, he’s a natural early riser. My younger boy struggles to rise at any time before 9. So as his older brother was about to finish high school this spring, he asked if he could just go home Wednesday evenings from now on. His mom and I worked it out.
I won’t miss groggy drives in the dark. I will miss peaceful moments like this one.
Early autumn sunrise, almost Indianapolis • Canon PowerShot S95 • October, 2011