Looking up towards the canopy I could finally see the outline of trees against dark purple. I'd just reached the top of the Red trail and turned onto the Orange/Blue connector when my headlamp started to flicker. The batteries were about to expire. Luckily, my destination was only a mile or so away and the sun was well on its ascent.
I love sunrises and sunsets. They mean the world to me for various reasons. There's something special about greeting the day. When you're sitting on the edge of a cliff, seeing the vivid colors slowly start filling the horizon... it's almost as if the world is brand new... like the world is seeing the sun for the first time. Sunsets are my favorite though. In April of this year, I stood and watched a complete sunset for the first time in my life. It was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect scenario. When the sun sets, it isn't leaving forever. It's simply saying "till tomorrow." You know it'll be back... ready to fill you with its warmth and love. It's the one thing that will never let you down.
I made it up to King's Chair when the sky was turning orange. The sun had yet to break the horizon so I threw down my pack, pulled out some crackers and waited. It finally felt like Fall and the breeze had me tossing on the pullover I had packed away earlier. After a few minutes the sky started getting brighter... and brighter... until the sun finally peeked over the horizon.
Perfect. While the majority of the South's population is still fast asleep, brewing coffee, or making their way to work... I'm thankful to be alone on a mountain. No words necessary... only smiles and silence. The only thing that matters is this moment. Work... bills... worries of every day life... none of that matters... right now they don't exist. Incubus said it best, "In this moment I am happy."
I climbed up to the top of the big boulder on King's Chair to lay down and watch the sky transform from a bright orange to light blue. As I laid there I thought of how blessed I really am to have the opportunity to witness these moments first hand, to have the ability to climb mountains, to run through the forest. I laid there for a few more minutes before gathering my pack. I stood up, took another look back at the sky, tossed a "thank you" into the wind, and made my way back onto the trail.
I urge you to break your routine. Even if it's once month... once a year... whatever it may be... get out and catch a sunrise and a sunset. If you come back and tell me that you felt nothing or it wasn't worth it... I'll buy you a beer to compensate for wasting your time.