Watching with Wonder

Watching with Wonder

3 mins
September 1, 2020

by Arian Knops

The clouds on the eastern horizon had been forming overnight. Before sunrise they formed a low-lying gray blanket that seemed, from my vantage point, to hold Lake Superior within its shores. Well before sunrise, I awoke to Venus and then Orion pushing their way out of that murk. I anticipated the rising of Sirius, but the clouds kept her from me.

In troubled times I’ve always found peace in the night sky. Stars that we observe, although unimaginably far away, are all residents of our galactic neighborhood. These same stars have been looking down at the Earth before any of our ancient ancestors first looked up. 

The world, as an entity, doesn’t care about the travails of mankind. It is perfectly beautiful and peaceful as she beckons us with her wonders. The Earth, our world, with all its majesty, must be a woman. No male could be so beautiful, except perhaps a few visual artists, like Van Gough for instance, who have always seemed to border on the edge of lunacy. 

As a race of intelligent beings for so many thousands of years guided by male dominance, how do we humans show our appreciation? We damage. We destroy. We rape this Earth. Shame on us, shame on me for being a human that has neither the courage nor the intelligence to initiate a change in our behavior. There are others who possess what I lack.  I may follow people with those gifts, but then again it is doubtful that at this stage of my life I care to.

Since before the arrival of the first hunters shortly after the retreat of glaciers some 10,000 or more years ago, humanity has been given the gift of watching a sunrise on Lake Superior in the area that is now the city of Duluth.  Last week I had the pleasure of observing one of those glorious risings. The Sun had enough power to send its light through the low hanging gloom that lurked miles from the shoreline. The first color, as the Sun crept above the horizon, was an incredibly deep red with lines of clouds appearing as black tendrils seeming to want to impede the Sun’s progress.

Next, as the Sun rose fully above the edge of the horizon, the color was a red reminiscent of rubies that grace the crown of a King or Sultan. That the Sun rose near the front of a ship that lay anchored beyond the harbor was a man-made bonus to the event. Since my wife was observing this with me, I was being given another plus to the beginning of the day. By the time the Sun had entered the clear blue of the sky above the clouds, it was its normal brilliant yellow and my day already had enough beauty to sustain me for that day.  

Thousands of people in Duluth that morning slept through something I rarely have the opportunity to see. Nature handed them and me a gift but they needed sleep more than they needed the gift of another sunrise, so they slept. I was thankful.

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