Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shenandoah Sunrise

I was in “the zone”, a very pleasant place in which the brain is undecided between either sleep or wakefulness. The previous day I had gone swimming in the rolling waves of Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton. Every time I tried to go to sleep, I would picture myself floating on those waves, and I could feel the beta waves switching on. Even though I could not fall into a deep sleep, I would open my eyes feeling more wakeful.

I opened my eyes and the previously black sky had turned dark blue. It was 5:45 AM and my travel companion informed me that we were passing through the Shenandoah Valley. Straight ahead of us the morning star was visible. As I looked around, I could faintly see the darker outline of the mountains all around me.

“Oh wow, this is definitely worth staying awake for,” I said, and watched in awe over the next fifteen minutes as the sun rose over the mountain range. First the sky turned lighter and lighter shades of blue. Then the pink started to tinge the edges of the peaks. Various shades of rose came and went until the entire sky was light blue, and the moment was gone.

I finally felt safe to go to sleep, and got a power nap for a half hour; it was the only sleep I had gotten in the past two days. I woke up with an amazing second wind and took over the driving for the second half of the 900-mile drive from Eastern Long Island to Western Tennessee.

“Are you okay? Do you know where you are?” my friend asked me.

“No, I don’t know where I am, but this does,” I said, gesturing to the GPS, my Valentine’s Day present last year.

“And you’re fine with that?” she asked incredulously.

“Yeah. Absolutely.”

That image would hold me out for the rest of the day. As I felt the monotony of the GPS’ telling me to stay on I-81-S for another several hundred miles; of being in Virginia for several hundred miles; and of driving through endless hills and trees and cows for several hundred miles, I would bring forth that image of the sun breaking the day over the mountain range.

Click here for my article “Top 10 tips for long distance driving with children”.

Click here for my article "10 tips for vacationing in the home of a friend or family member".

Click here for my article "10 things to pack for a day trip"

Click here for my article "Tips for an impromptu hotel stay"


BPOTW said...

Terrificly written! It was like I was beside you, listening to your story.

Loren Christie said...

There is something interesting here with the GPS leading you and your trust. Did you intend to sneak in a little metaphor? This is good!

Louise said...

That is such an amazing article. So vivid. I thought that I was there.