I’m gonna wake up early for once in my life and take pictures of the sunrise, I told myself recently. And not cheat and just stay up all night, because too much of that will kill me dead.
So I woke up early and headed out in two hats, two scarves, two sweaters, two pairs of socks, one pair of pants plus one pair of leggings, and one pair of mittens (which I didn’t wear because mittens are the opposite of manual dexterity). The windchill was -2°F, which is probably not too bad for the time of day and year. I stayed surprisingly toasty but my hands were contorted into twisted claws by the end.
I walked down to the sandbar in the river in the woods behind our house. My dad and I walked there the other day, which was the first time I’ve gone out there in the winter. It’s a little tough to get to because so much of the riverbank has eroded and what is left is often a tangled mass of uprooted trees, irritating thorny brush, and steep, slippery passages. But if you’re careful you can find a sensible path down there. Then it’s just a ten- or fifteen-foot, careful trek across the ice. The river is mostly frozen over but at some parts, the ice is quite thin. Luckily it’s very shallow there. Once or twice I heard a low cracking sound, always from a perceptible distance. The unnecessarily anxious part of me cried DEATH NO when this happened.
I woke up early in the hopes the sunrise would be spectacular. It was alright, as sunrises go. Not to disrespect the notion of sunrises or the notion of waking up alive — I’m just saying it wasn’t technicolor or anything. And that’s okay!!! It turns out the MVP was shared among all of the many lovely plants, frost formations, and combinations thereof, all lit nicely by the sunrise in a crucial supporting role. There, see, everyone’s happy.
Two pieces of pop culture inevitably come to mind whenever anything river surfaces, and since there’s not enough media in this post, let’s share them! One of my favorite SNL sketches and one of my favorite Neil Young songs: