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Odes

Ode to Sunrises

Sunrises have all the beauty and promise of a new day. They take any circumstance, even pollution and turn it into something beautiful. They show that in this way a new beginning can change everything. Interestingly, it is not the passing of night that really embodies the promise of the sunrise but the cleansing of the world that is shown with the new light of day. The colors of sunrise usually do not quite match that of sunsets, but that is like comparing second place to first in the Olympics. They both far outstrip anything that others could hope to do. Sunrises herald the Sun and the hope of warmth returning.

There have been enough days in my life that I have waited for that hope since I am easily chilled. I spent a lot of time in Taiwan photographing sunrises. Part of this was because the sunrises there are generally better than sunsets, which are blocked by the mountains and often shrouded in clouds, and I was doing research regularly enough that I was awake and outside for many sunrises. The most welcome sunrises that I have experienced are the sunrise when I was caught in the mountains because it meant that I had survived the unexpected night and could continue with my life. The other was the sunrise on the beach in Taidong. I had settled very late as I kept driving and kept not finding what I wanted. At last I pitched my tent on some random beach. In the morning, I spent sunrise in the shallows. There was not another person around. The sunrise turned the sky amazing colors of yellow, orange, red, and a myriad of blues. The water then reflected these colors with a silver sheen so that the entirety of the world in front of me had become suffused with the evanescent colors of the dawn.