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  • EDi by Darlene

Morning Dawn, New Day

Who gets up before sunrise to be in a park at o'God:30 in the morning looking for rising mist, the new beginning, dawn of a new day?

I knew this morning would be special, different from the usual hustle and bustle of my daily routine. This morning I looked forward to getting out of bed at 4 A.M. to prepare for my trek from Bethesda, Maryland to Great Falls Park, Virginia. Although a short ride, I wanted to arrive when the park opened at 6 A.M. and be ready for the rise of the sun. Somehow I sensed this morning would provide the inspiration I needed to capture images that were different from my standard versions of the landscape. I was looking for something unique. I was inwardly excited for this day, full of wonder and expectation. I felt grateful for the peacefulness within my heart, the quietness within my mind, and the fullness of my spirit. I began to wonder how I would find the experience of the day; what would be my reaction, as I mentally said to self: Have you lost your mind?

The new beginning, a time of renewal. It happens every morning, starting with the Golden Hour of the day when the Sun is just above the horizon and shines upon the Earth at an angle low enough to reach the Earth's atmosphere. The sunrays impact elements of dust, water, and other particles known to filter the sunlight. This process softens the contours and reduce the contrast in what our eyes can experience. There is much more that happens during this extremely short period of sunrise, and can be further explained at Golden Hour – When Sunlight Turns Magical (

Just as I reached the park, daylight was barely visible beyond the forested trees, yet I could sense the sun's rising. The ground was still wet from the heavy rain that occurred over night. I could breath the midst in the air. I quickly assembled my camera bag and tripod and proceeded deep into the park towards the gorge. Along the way, I realized that I forgot lens filters. Going back to the car was quickly dismissed knowing the shoot would work out with little equipment to capture natural elements that are sensed through my human eyes. Short on time, but I felt comfortable.

I continued walking until I found an opening that felt right; one that contained all the elements I wanted: trees in the background, water in the foreground, a clearing in the sky, rising mist; and then . . . the light emerged. The moment was beyond magical. I was mesmerized, and stood in its presence in silence.

Moments like this are the beginning of a wonderful phenomenon. The first light shines like a genesis for earth's existence. I became conscious of "I Am" and its relationship to the phrase "In the beginning . . . ." My heart and soul experienced great pleasure at everything my eyes could see. I now greet the dawn of each morning with a quiet yet soulful utterance, "Thank you."

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