The Sun Can Rise in Many Ways

The sun can rise in many ways.

On a warm July morning it seeps into the sky in a long and languorous crawl. It's light slowly brightens long before the first arc of the orb slips the horizon. These are the days when the sun is sleepy and ready to hit the celestial snooze alarm just one more time. These are the days when it offers a small, precious respite before it drags itself higher and bakes the Earth for the remains of the day. Later, at its apex, it momentarily hangs motionless in the expanse, too hot to move, yet pulled forward by the hidden strings of the universe. When it sets that night, it sinks peaceably. No fantastic colors. No Promethean light show. Just a long, languid crawl down the wall of the sky before it disappears without a sound below the western horizon.

In spring, when the morning sky is cloudy, the sun rises full of glory. Strong shafts reflect up through cathedral clouds. Unearthly oranges, reds, whites, and blues form a parish-perfect stained glass. The light spring air breathes it higher until it can climb above the mountainous clouds and come to rest on its sure and steady trajectory of light. It works in tandem with the breezy clouds of day, keeping things pleasant and cool. And when it sets, it lights the sky afire in a riot of colors that doesn't blink out until the last possible moment.

Then, there are the overcast days. The days when something in the air tells you it will be all muck and mud. The gray, depressive clouds hang low like a blanket over the east and the sun approaches them only warily. The clouds are lightproof. They only allow the tiniest suggestion of brightness through their thick bodies. For one brief moment, a gap suddenly appears between the horizon and the rain-pregnant clouds. It is there, in that tiny gap, that the sun peaks in like a child searching for monsters beneath the bed. The clouds dip in and out of its view and give it the appearance of a giant blinking eye. Then, suddenly, the clouds clamp shut and deprive the morning of its life-giving light. The sun will travel all day in a running battle with the sky-borne scud, trying to poke through and constantly being beaten to the punch by the unyielding sky. Finally, it will hastily retreat westward and sink sight-unseen below the horizon. The only trace it leaves is a chill in the dark, damp air and a softly spoken encouragement to the moon to beat the clouds at their own game.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, April 09, 2006

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