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Sunrise at York Beach
We just spent a week at York Beach with my mother and other family. York, Maine is one of my favorite places, and we stayed in a house within walking distance of both Short and Long Sands beaches.

For some reason, I woke up every morning at five, and I would get up and and walk down to the shore. The sky was light and wide open, with clouds changing colors, sometimes vivid red and gold, sometimes paler rose and ivory. I would get to the beach in time to watch the sun rise. Very quiet, except for the tide coming in, and the few people I met would barely smile or nod, not to disturb it.
Sunrise at beach

I was not prepared for my own response - the pure joy that I felt - on these mornings. Since I'm used to living in the woods, the open sky with a wide horizon was uplifting, but it was more than that. These words came to me: "Were you there at the creation of the world, when all the children of God sang together?" It seemed that every new day was a memory, a hope, and a celebration of new creation.

I recognized the words as a paraphrase of God's answer to Job, when Job demands to know the reasons for pain and suffering. It had never seemed an adequate answer to me, but to be there, in the moment, did actually drown out all memory of former pain. And I was there, fully aware, and simply glad to be alive.

Iona got up early and came with me one morning, and we took off our shoes and paddled in the waves. (She went back to bed afterwards.) Jim came on the last day, with his pennywhistle and camera, and we promised each other we'd come back in the fall. Our family group included my nephew and his wife, who are expecting their first baby next December. It was wonderful to see two people so happy together, preparing themselves for the first great grandchild, and the start of a new generation.

Back in my own house, I have been waking up at six and trying to walk a little every morning. Today I found two yellow leaves, and see that the trees are already thinking about the next season. I love the woods to come home to, but I miss the ocean at sunrise.