A few days ago, Esther Pearl took my hand and walked me out to the big rock in the middle of the yard. “Let’s watch the sunset, mama! The sky is PINK!” It gave me those deep-down shivers, the kind that only happen a few times in a life. We sat and watched the sky morph from orange to pink and red and violet, while we played “camping” and she set up our pretend campsite. She noticed the fireflies coming out to play, so she ran and caught a few to say hello. It was a simple, clear, perfect stretch of time, as she invited me into her world and I chose to really join her there. We breathed deeply together and made pretend smores, we snuggled and watched the Earth around us settle into night and made up our sleeping bags on the rocks-turned-tents. I settled into her Space, where the only things happening were Us, colors in the sky, blinking lights in the trees, and the best, most perfect campsite ever.
This morning, when I woke for the fourth bathroom trip of the night, I saw the sky coming into orange at the horizon. I took a chance: I rubbed Esther Pearl’s back and said “Would you like to come sit at the bathroom window with me and watch the sunrise?”
She nodded yes and held out her hands.
After a few minutes watching from the window, we decided to go sit on the front porch for a better view. I sat down on the front step, my four year old baby in my lap, the two of us tightly entwined for the tiny extra bit of warmth we needed against the lingering chilly night air. She’d sleepily look now and then at the horizon, “Look mama! The sky is PINK!” and giggle at the cat stalking invisible prey, take note of all the roosters calling to each other from every direction, yawn and rub her little hand on my back. We sat like this for 10 minutes or so, while the sky between the tree line grew brighter: orange, pink, fire-red, yellow. Colors that happen no where else in the universe besides the precious moments before Mother Earth rotates to that exact point and Father Sun joins us for the day.
After a particularly big yawn, Esther Pearl decided she wanted to return to bed and a couple more hours of sleep. It wasn’t until then that I thought to check the sunrise time on my phone, to find we were still 15 minutes away from the official sun-over-horizon moment. It didn’t matter though. She was happy we watched the colors, and she whispered to me that she’d do it again this summer at the RIGHT time.
So I promised the next time would be at the beach, to watch the magical fire show over the ocean. And again, I teared up, and felt those deep-down chills as she nestled into my armpit to fall back asleep.
Twice in three days, for a rare pure-bliss-and-peace moment? I’ll take it. Just when I was feeling so depleted, running on empty — My cup is overflowing now, and I know I will make it for another stretch.
*As much as I wish I had a picture to share, I’m not sorry I left my phone behind for these moments. Hopefully you have a beautiful picture in your mind’s-eye of what we were seeing. If not: I suggest that now is as good a time as any to get outside and see for yourself. Next clear evening, pause your life and take in the sunset. And then set your alarm to wake up the next morning to watch the sunrise! You won’t regret it.