It’s a New Dawn…and I’m Feeling Good

There’s this song we sang in Girl Scouts that went

Why sleep when the day has been called out by the sun
From the night? Cuz the light’s gonnna shine on everyone.
Why sleep when the sleep only closes up our eyes?
Why sleep when we can watch the sun arise?

It goes on from there in a perky fashion. And all you former Girl Scouts out there? You’re welcome for the ear worm.

Now, I’ve mentioned many times that I am not a morning person. Never have been. At girl scout camp, when they programmed us with the song and then encourage us to go on the sunrise hike? I opted out. (Actually “sunrise hike” is a misnomer. It was a pre-dawn hike UP the mountain to then watch the sunrise. One girl in my group got hit in the face with a backlashing branch that split her eyelid open, so I felt totally vindicated.)

I used to make smart remarks like, why bother to watch a sunrise when the sunset is the same thing in reverse.

Over time, however, I’ve taught myself to get up early – not to hike up mountains in the pre-dawn dark, which still sounds insane to me – but to get all the things done that are important to me. And I’ve found that sunrises do look different.

I kind of like seeing them. I like how the sky goes from dark to day. It is like the fulfillment of a promise.

My friend, the fabulous writer and blogger, Tawna Fenske, let everyone know last week that her marriage is breaking up. Then she went on to mention conversations she and I had about her next husband, Xavier. I made him up for her partly to make her laugh when she was sad.

But also, I believe it’s important to remember that there will be new dawns. It’s easy, in the depths of despair over a breakup or loss, to think that you’ll never meet anyone ever again. Building the fantasy of the possibilities is part of dragging yourself out of that mindset.

Why not imagine the fabulously wealthy man with a chateau in the South of France who learned sensual secrets in Thailand? Dreaming something wonderful lifts us up and opens our eyes.

I learned this from my mother, who’s been widowed twice. And married three times. Always she looked beyond the dark days of grief to sunlit days ahead.

That’s probably even worth getting up early for.

8 Replies to “It’s a New Dawn…and I’m Feeling Good”

  1. Back in my theater days, when I habitually kept later hours, I used to say the only good way to watch a sunrise was right before falling into bed for the day. 😉

  2. LOL, I'm eternally grateful to you for Xavier. He makes me smile when I'm having a glum day (which I seem to be doing a lot lately). And like you said, he's a good reminder that there ARE wonderful things on the horizon. Thank you!


  3. i was a girl scout and we definitely do NOT sing that song. i feel deprived. however, i do have the song from the title of this blog now stuck in my head….

    anyways, i totally agree with you re: the sun rising looks different than the sun setting. more than the obvious, though, it's in the emotional and metaphysical meaning. the sun rising is optimistic and brings with it another fresh start. although, come to think of it, the sun setting could be optimistic as well because it could mean a crappy day is almost over.

    as i'm aging, i find myself waking up earlier (despite my best intentions not to!) and enjoying the quiet of the morning. cheers to new days and the light of the sunrise spilling over.

  4. The chipper sun-rise GS campers had a song that involved perky clapping and head bobbing:

    I'm alive, awake, alert and enthusiastic
    I'm alive, awake, alert and enthusiastic
    I'm alive awake alert / I'm alert awake alive
    I'm alive, awake, alert and enthusiastic

    Those of us who were more like Linda G up there and believed the night was our time to play, perform, and prank had an alternate version of the infernal song:

    I'm dead asleep and pessimistic
    I'm dead asleep and pessimistic
    I'm dead and asleep / I'm asleep and dead
    I'm dead asleep and pessimistic

    Of course, we were all sorts of vengefully perky while the moon was high and good little campers were trying to go to bed. ~muuwahaha~

  5. One, I was a Girl Scout for four years and we never sang that song. Maybe it's a Colorado thing, as my Girl Scout years were in Texas.

    Two, one of the more useful things I ever learned from the self-help realm (which I normally eschew with a vigour usually reserved for spiders), THE SUN WILL RISE TOMORROW. Whatever it is, there will be another day to solve it, mitigate it, get through it, get over it, get closer to the next good thing.

    I soapboxed. I'm done.

  6. Love that one, Linda. I would have totally agreed! (And experienced it more than once.)

    Everyone needs a Xavier, Tawna. Hopefully if I ever need one, he'll have a brother.

    Someday I'll sing the song for you, Abby, then you won't be deprived. And I agree – more than once I've been grateful to see a day end.

    Damn, KAK – why wasn't I at GS camp with you??

    Marin, how uncharacteristically optimistic of you and how much more powerful for that. You're right on – thanks for that.

  7. I love sunrises, though I'm rarely up for them.I usually get to see them at home in St. Vincent because my body clock resets to the days when i would get up at four and make my day coffee because that's when he started work everyday. There is nothing like sitting on the porch watching the sky transform and listening to all the sounds that accompany it.

  8. The only time I see the sun rise is when I'm driving to work. There have been some incredible ones. I just wish I was sitting on a mountaintop with a cup of coffee instead of in the driver's seat. 🙂

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