While driving to work in the morning, with the sun coming up in the East, here in Phoenix, I have had flashbacks of days gone by.
When I was in grade school, living in the wild city of Omaha, Nebraska, my parents announced to my siblings and I that we were moving to Washington State. That started a trip across three states and two time zones. It was a life altering journey that each person should experience at least once in their lives.
Each morning, we would stop and eat at various little diners in Wyoming, Idaho and finally Washington State.
While stopping one morning in front of a little greasy spoon somewhere in the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, my mom made it her duty to have all her children watch the sun come up over the mountains before eating breakfast. So, here we stood, sleepy eyed, bleary and not quite sure what we were doing outside in the cold, this early in the morning! What was so funny, was that the cook in that greasy spoon restaurant came out and asked my mom if she was going to have breakfast inside.
Her reply was that she was going to have her kids watch the sunrise over the Rockies, something that we would appreciate for the rest of our lives. The cook came out as well, stood beside us, and watched the sunrise with us. Something he had missed for years due to his job.
It was amazing. Colors of orange, yellow, red hues and pastel rays of sun shine streaking across the sky. It was breathtaking, watching Nature create an artistic canvas in the sky above us. The sky, looking like a movie screen, with the clouds creating the white background, at the moment that the sun peeked over the horizon to make its daily appearance, was indescribably beautiful. No human could capture the colors that Nature uses in the sunrise.
I mention this fact for the following reason. Ever go on a road trip and see the sunrise, then come home and have one of those déjà vu moments? I get those once in a while, here in Phoenix. This morning was one of those mornings. I was transported right back to that greasy spoon in Wyoming years ago. The sun was coming up on my right as I was driving north on the freeway, and when I could see the hills in the distance, the sun peeked over the peaks of those mounds and instantly, I had visions of my youth. What a gift!
I used to dislike Arizona, until I had the opportunity to witness one of the best sunrises over the desert valley. It is never the same, each morning I see a rising sun.
I know that people will disagree with me if they live in other states, as I have. Once, I would have said, “Nah! The sunrises over Mt Rainier can never be compared to the sunrise over a stupid desert!” I can’t say that now. In my advanced years, I understand that there are different kinds of sunrises: over Mountains, oceans, wheat fields, or what have you. I just know what I know. Desert sunrises are beautiful all on their own. It was the sunrise this morning that took me back to a moment in front of a small greasy spoon, years ago, that makes me appreciate Nature’s ability to surprise us.
So, as a word to the wise from someone that was reminded years after that morning in Wyoming, “David, You need to stop and smell the roses, or watch the sunset. Being focused is one thing, but don’t let it blind you to what is important…”
Never let a moment go by and not appreciate the small things in life. It’s not always the huge things that make an impression on us, as humans. I like to think it’s all the small things that build into what we remember when we are old and being nostalgic.
Well, that’s how I see it….now, I need to crawl back into the shelter and wait for the fallout!