My daughter scanned me from head to toe, as we prepared for a walk in the city. “With your cap, backpack, water bottle, and running shoes, you dress like a junior camper heading off to summer camp!” There is nothing like a fashion critique from a 22-year-old. Hey – maybe I like being a junior camper!
A week later, my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. I was staying near a lake in Wisconsin, and it was time for a sunrise adventure. After a moment of drowsy hesitation, I quickly put on my backpack, donned my cap and running shoes, and grabbed my water bottle and a flashlight. This junior camper couldn’t wait to get to the lake!
At the dock, the sky was pink, but the sun wasn’t yet present. I had anticipated complete serenity. Instead, I took in the voices of three fishermen, as they yelled about “that mother f$%^ing fish.” I wondered if they were just there for the catch, or if they had a deep appreciation for nature. I also wondered about my own motivation. Why did I wake so early?
I settled on a bench and waited with a bit of impatience. Finally, the sun showed up. It was shy at first, peeking out at me from just above the tree line. Then, it started its ascent. First, a small bright light. Then, a sliver of orange. It picked up speed as it rose, becoming more and more visible. I watched in wonder, as I unsuccessfully tried to capture all this magnificent beauty with the camera on my cell phone.
Just when I was convinced that it couldn’t get any better, the sun extended its dazzling rays out onto the water, forming a path partway across the lake. It was greeting me! Eventually, its intense light was way too powerful, and I had to look away.
Next, I decided to take a short hike to a coffee shop on the west end of the lake. I hated to turn my back on the sun, but it didn’t seem bothered by this.
After I finished my cappuccino, I began the walk back. Suddenly, there it was again, stretching toward me, creating a path of sparkles on the water, luring me towards it. I heard the distant sound of church bells, as I stepped onto a city dock. I found a comfortable sitting position on its edge and was immediately mesmerized by the sparkles. Eventually, I laid my head back onto the warm wood, listening to the water lapping from below and feeling the warmth from above. Waking early? Totally worth it, but this junior camper was ready for a nap!
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