For years I thought of myself as a night owl. Staying up late meant sleeping in and it was not unusual to still be in bed at eleven on any day that I was not working.
Now I wake to dawn’s light and sometimes to first light, the margin before the sun breaks the horizon. First light is often more interesting, more subtle, than watching the big red ball rise over the ocean’s edge. The hours of light beckon. They are not to be missed. This show happens every day and you can watch it for free; it’s an art gallery opening, only quiet, with an attendance by one. Nature—the painter, sculptor, collage maker—assembles waves and clouds and occasional birds and the light changes minute by minute. It never gets boring and it rarely repeats. When the sun tucks under, slipping below the horizon bringing darkness, sleep is welcome. There are no lamp poles or street lights to artificially extend the day. Only a full moon, reflecting the sun’s light, illuminates the house at night and, sometimes, bright stars and planets–red orange Mars and brilliant Venus–dance in proximity or balance it across the dome of black sky. The starry night can be lovely but, for me, the dark skies mean only short moments of awe and gaze. My preference always leans to the grand daytime show.