Saturday, April 10, 2010
Sitka stretched her legs and felt the cool morning air. She could hear the steady breathing of her husband and her sons in the lodge around her but it was still too dark to see. She pulled the blanket around her and walked out into the coolness of the early autumn dawn. She walked away from camp and up to the rise more by feel than by sight to the large rock with the view to the east. The sky was just beginning to come alive at the horizon with pinks on the low lying clouds.
The young people always would scoff at her. "Grandmother, why do you get up so early? The sun will come up whether you sing to him or not." She smiled as she thought of them. They had their science, she would stay with her myths and stories. She began to chant and sing. She sang the old songs that were taught to her by her grandmother, who in turn had learned them from her grandmother before her. As she began to sing Brother Sun peaked his first hesitant gaze out over the horizon to embrace the wide world.
Someone of the people had sung the sun up every morning since the Strong Time, since the beginning when the animals could speak. One of them would sing to Him every morning until the end of days. It was enough that someone sang. She was glad that it was her. Her granddaughter would make a strong singer in due time as well. Sitka did not want to ever miss a sunrise.
My professor Calvin Martin would always get up and watch the sunrise. To him, it was about standing witness to the event. There are powerful moments, moments that pierce through our alone and bring us close to old eternities and infinite present moments. I have had moments like this, where i realize that God truly is everywhere, all at once, including in the very flesh and blood that i call me.
I had one of these moments recently with Bethany and Azlan in the Arizona desert. As we walked about allowing the dog to do his business i spotted some movement in a rabbit hole. A brief white flash disappeared into the Lowerland and i stopped to see if i could catch a glimpse. My stopping caused Bethany to turn around and she witnessed it. The full moon was coming up over the horizon to the east. To the west, Brother Sun was painting the sky pink and gold and orange. We stood in rapt awe as we watched her emerge into full view before our eyes. We were there, present in that moment.
I have seen the full moon actually rise over the horizon only once that i can remember and this time, there in the desert, it rose precisely as the sun set. The moment was one of the most magical of my life and i am honored to have witnessed the glory of the whole thing. I was honored to stand there and watch with Bethany and her dog.
I do believe that these moments are something close to the heart of the importance of our lives. Moments like that break the bonds of the present moment and transcend time. They are like the myths of the ancients, always true, here and now. It is moments like that make everything else worth while. All of the hardships that i have endured and all the trials, they are worth it if there are moments like that included in the pieces of my tiny little life.
Have a great evening and look out for those magical moments.