Sun Rising, Moon Setting Over Dolphin Field in Alvin, TX
One of the joys of running in the early morning is observing the subtle changes as night becomes day. During pre-dawn, the sky may be inky black if the moon is new, or illuminated with silvery light if it is full. Cool, crisp days of winter slowly change into the steamy sauna of summer. Today it was foggy, and thus quiet, except for the slap of my shoes against the pavement.
Morning fog drifts over the landscape, veiling the meandering path, but permitting a view of the distant and darker tree line that floats on the horizon.
Sunlight slowly breaks, illuminating scattered clouds with pink and purple hues, and gradually revealing the colors of the grass and trees.
Dawn is a golden hour. If circumstances permit, it allows for quiet and serene contemplation.
God is the source of such splendor: King David said, “They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy” (Psa. 65:8).
Again, the sweet psalmist of Israel said, “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. Awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You among the nations” (Psa. 108:1–3).
Presently, I am reading a novel where part of the action occurs in Petra, the ancient capital city of the Nabataeans, the most visited tourist attraction in Jordan. Today, I rediscovered a poem, written in 1845 by John William Burgon, about the city of Petra, which at the time was inaccessible, a place of which he had heard but never seen. Beauty may be captured in carefully-framed photographs, and also in carefully-crafted words:
“It seems no work of Man’s creative hand,
by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;
But from the rock as if by magic grown,
eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,
where erst Athena held her rites divine;
Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,
that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;
But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,
that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;
The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,
which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,
match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
a rose-red city half as old as time.”