I love our sunrises and sunsets. Always have. Being lucky enough to have grown up in Arizona, I have been spoiled with breathtaking beginnings and endings to every day. I always thought that in my perfect world, I would wake up, make some coffee and sit outside - sitting still - so that I could watch the sky light up in front of me. That is a dream of mine that I have had for as long as I can remember. Stop and smell the roses, they say. Relax. Slow down. Sit still. A goal to one day try to achieve, or so I thought.
The day started as any other day. Wake up around 5am, get the kids up and ready for school, leave the house around 6:30am and let the day begin. Walking outside there was a stillness to the air. It wasn't cool, but it seemed like it might be. Dark clouds covered the sky. Over to my right, I saw some broken clouds with rays of light trying all they could to beam through. The morning seemed to start as if it was preparing me for what was to come. Maybe a storm? Maybe a sudden temperature drop? I wasn't sure, but I was aware and believed that something was going to be coming my way.
As we left the house something caught the corner of my eye. A bright orange light - hotter than fire, almost lava like, was starting to wrap itself around a small section of black cloud. It was mesmerizing. I noticed myself wanting to speed up, just so I could catch a more complete glimpse of what was brewing in the sky. During those few moments however, life kicked back in and I was in full conversation with my kids about anything and everything. We chatted, we laughed, we sat quietly, we even discussed how quickly and beautifully the sky was changing, as my son tried desperately to take clear pics with his phone. Typical car ride to school really. Nothing really exceptional ...... but that sky! It seemed as if every few moments, something even more magnificent was happening. The colors were changing, the intensity was growing, the masterpiece was reaching out across the entire sky.
About 5 minutes before we reached our first stop, I was heading north on Ironwood, when it hit me, literally, what was heading my way. A white work truck had pulled out of the lane in front of me and into a left hand turn lane as if to turn onto a side street. I learned a few moments later however that while they did take that left, it was only after throwing something at my car, as I drove by going 45 MPH. The car shook with a loud bang! The kids were startled to say the least, but luckily none of us were hurt and it was over as quickly as it began. As we continued north on Ironwood, I called PCSO to make a report about what had just happened. I had no idea if there was damage to the car, or even what had hit the car as I couldn't pull over anywhere to check and I really wanted to get my son to school on time, which I did. After I dropped him off, I pulled into a parking spot and took a look at my car. No damage - anywhere. Luck was obviously on my side. I was confused by this time however because I knew something hit my car, but looking at it you would never know. I knew I wouldn't ever figure out the why, but I was determined to figure out the what. I drove back to Marilyn Street and there it was - a full Gatorade bottle smashed on the street, with the contents spilling out onto the asphalt. Car 1, Gatorade bottle 0. I took a quick pic and a deep breath then continued on to take my daughter to school.
Even with all of the chaos, and the unexpected things being thrown at me, literally, I kept moving forward with my day while still noticing the sky changing at almost every turn. Large airbrush strokes, pinks, oranges, yellows, lava burning and smoldering to a light pink color. Hours later while I write this piece, I am still awestruck by the beauty I was able to witness this morning. Then it hit me ... this idea, not the Gatorade bottle. Had I chosen to sit still after I woke up, or stop after the object hit my car, I would have missed the most amazing masterpiece painted across the sky. Had I stayed put, I would have only seen a small bit of the sky evolve.
After all of these years of thinking that my goal was to stop so that I could smell the roses, I realized that I can absolutely enjoy the roses, the sunrises, the new beginnings, and all of the other amazing experiences, without stopping. I enjoyed every moment of the sunrise this morning and I was able to do so not because I stopped moving, but because I kept moving - forward.
We all feel the need to slow down from time to time and that's okay. But don't stop. Keep moving forward. Dust yourself off if you stumble or fall. Don't settle for what is right in front of you - explore, stretch your wings, keep moving. If you don't, you just may miss out on the most amazing masterpieces ever known - a life filled with memories.