Washington


County road sunrise7D_13742_StaatsI awoke this morning before the sunrise, grabbed my camera, and headed out the door.  We were in Kansas for a family wedding.  The weather had been as perfect as is possible for August in Kansas – low humidity, sunshine, and temps in the 80’s.  But this morning the air was fresh and cooled, and the fog hung low in the valleys.  As I drove down gravel roads, the dust hung in the golden air and the sunlight glistened off the telephone lines and the grasses.  My nephew and his lovely bride were married in a garden setting yesterday, surrounded by family and friends.  It was lovely and it was just as they had hoped – a true expression of who they are individually and who they are as a couple.  As I was greeting the morning with an appreciation of the scenery and a new day, I was hoping that this first day of their life as husband and wife would be a beautiful omen of their future together.  Congrats to them; and I’m so proud of their family that has showered them with love.

Full moonrise Gig Harbor_2185 StaatsTen years ago on July 31st, I invited a man from Saint Paul, Minnesota to a tour of the Tacoma, Washington area where I was living.  We spent the day talking and sharing while walking along Commencement Bay and exploring Wright Park and Point Defiance Park.  It was a beautiful summer’s day and we became good friends and learned much about each other.  As the day was coming to an end, I suggested we go to Gig Harbor and enjoy the full moon-rise over Mount Rainier.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.  Fast forward ten years, and I invite him to dinner to celebrate that first date in 2005.  It’s another beautiful summer’s evening, with dinner on a patio in Saint Paul accompanied by yet another full moonrise only this one is more rare being a blue moon.    Between dinner and dessert, this same man from ten years ago asked how the evening could be more memorable, and then got down on his knee and asked me to marry him.  In these ten years we’ve shared joys and sorrows, births and deaths, and life’s share of ups and downs.  We both appreciate all we’ve been through and the love we share.  It was easy to answer his question with a “yes.”

Daybreak in the cornfield_StaatsI woke up in the dark the other morning, crawled out of bed, slipped on my shorts, T-shirt, and hiking boots and headed out the door with my camera.  I’ve replayed this scenario so many times over the years.  About 10 years ago I was living in Washington and would drive to Mount Rainier to see the sun rise over the mountains.  Now I’m in Minnesota and I drive a few blocks and I’m walking through fields of tasseled corn, the temperature already at 80 degrees.  In both instances I’m aware of so much more than the view in front of me.  There are smells (whether of towering firs and cedars or agriculture fields) and there are sounds (of the creeks and streams that flow from the melting snow or the wind blowing through the corn and giving the geese thermals to float on).  No matter where, there is so much that comes to life as the sun crests the horizon and the day breaks.  The smoke from the wildfires in the west has drifted our way, giving our sunrises and sunsets a deeper shade of red and orange.  This early-morning-time is ripe with the promise of the day (and the adventures) ahead.