First Light Cocoa

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As I descend under the pier, I’m distracted by a blue heron fishing for his breakfast.

He sees me but doesn’t care. Again, my mind struggles with what to do next. I watch him for a moment as all the seagulls scurry around him. It’s a wondrous sight, so seemingly unimportant.

Beyond the birds, I can’t see all the others, the light is already so bright. But the pressure’s off, I got my shot, didn’t I?

I feel another story starting to emerge as make my way under the pier. I can feel the new day beginning. The darkness disappears. I already captured the soft summer blues and now I want that golden glow of the first light. The only sunlight our bare eyes can witness. I know as soon as it rises above the horizon, we only have seconds to take in the spectacular site before it’s too bright.

It’s this game of physical boundaries toying with the reality that reminds me there is magic in mornings like this. Will my reality be visualized in this next story? Will I catch that first light? Or is it already gone to the naked eye?

While I contemplate this irony, my toes push into the sand and I walk a little faster past the birds. To where? I don’t know. That is until I see them all. Hundreds of people all staring back at me. Lined up, lurking, like I just got in their way. They’ve been here all along. They’ve already caught the first light. I am too late.

I feel a sense of angst like I don’t belong. Like I wasn’t invited. My mind immediately switches off, giving up to the reality of this moment. Good. Now I can just play. Who cares if they stare.

I run past all their cameras pointing at the pier and head down to the water’s edge. I bury my tripod in the wet sand and that’s when I see it. The golden glow begins to break across a tiny wave crashing onto the shore. I haven’t missed it!

I peak from behind the viewfinder to notice the perfect orange circle floating up into the sky. Who knew I could stare at the sun for so long? With my mind still quiet, a smile fills my face. I feel like I’ve just woken up. Like I’m just seeing the sun for the first time. Like this is just the beginning.

Though this may just be another day, it’s already extraordinary because it is as new as this moment, and so am I.

Danielle Werner, 2018

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