Galloping Radiance across a Morning Sky

Galloping Radiance across a Morning Sky
Sunrise over Owls Head

Sunrise ushers in the power of unrestrained light as a new day dawns over Penobscot Bay (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Over time, I have watched with great interest how color and light interact with each other during the day’s grand moments of sunrise and sunset. Though the sun obviously assumes center stage on the horizon for both dramatic events, its opening and closing acts tend to play out quite differently.

To me, the most profound of all differences between sunrise and sunset may be the moods that each event inspires in our minds.

Sunset often exudes an aura of contentment and relaxation that can prompt reflective thoughts for a day well spent. In contrast, first light is less about grace and more about unrestrained vigor, exhilaration and opportunity.

Rather than dousing the sky and sea with delightful pastels like that of a typical sunset, at dawn this day-star often resorts to cloaking the seascape with steely hues of burnt oranges and reds.

Chasing shadows from the sky

The morning sun forces the shadows of night to run in full retreat (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The serious nature of such tints seems to coincide with morning’s resolve to do battle with the realm of nightfall, for the magnificence of dawn does not rest until it has stormed the air and set-free the azure from its nemesis darkness.

Once the sun’s light overpowers the firmament, it gallops across the sky and moves at breathtaking speed to banish the last remaining shadows of darkness from memory. The sheer power of this moment is something to behold.

Any clouds on the eastern horizon that make an attempt to harbor shades of blackness upon their western faces soon relent their futile efforts as the sun’s brilliance floods the sky and exposes their dark, puffy countenance as harmless.

The same holds true for brine-stained ledges and kelp-laced tidal pools. Try as they might to retain their pre-dawn forms as black silhouettes against the rush of light, they are always thwarted by the flood tide of dawn’s effulgence.

Rockland Breakwater

The gleam of Rockland Breakwater light grows more dim as dawn increases its brightness (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Even the beams shining forth from nearby lighthouses, though beacons ablaze just moments prior to the break of dawn, find the intensity of their lights weakened by the minute until the sun finally melds their gleams into morning’s radiance.

In the end, a sunrise – even one that lacks all semblance of warmth, remains ever symbolic.

For sunrise is much like the days of our youth – optimistic, determined, full of promise and rushing ahead toward life’s boundless possibilities – traits that should never grow dim in our hearts and minds no matter our age!

Silhouettes of lobster boats

Dark silhouettes of lobster boats at dawn vanish when the sun holds morning court (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Low tide

Shadows can hide on the western faces of rocks for only so long before the rush of light storms the seascape (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Reflections at dawn

Reflections at dawn (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Basking in morning glory

The shoreline along Jameson Point in Rockland basks in the vibrancy of morning glory (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Sunrise over Northeast Point in Camden Harbor

The splendor of the morning sun rises over Northeast Point in Camden Harbor on March 4, 2011 (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)