2017-12-06 / Editorials

Don Lively

A DAWNING

Y'all won't believe this.

I've been maligned.

I've been slandered.

Smeared!

I was recently accused of occasionally elongating the truth in my weekly scribblings.

Maybe that's not such a stretch, now that I think about it.

After all, I sprung from a gene pool that produced a multitude of folks who were able to spin yarns and tall tales with the best of them.

Mark Twain had nothing on my clan of storytellers.

Still, the latest accusation of inaccuracy against me was in itself accusatorially inaccurate.

The indictment stemmed from my having casually mentioned witnessing a spectacular sunrise over the Atlantic one crisp morning. The accuser is someone who knows me well and is fully aware that I am by nature a night owl who, if I was not gainfully employed in a position that requires me to keep office hours during the day, would happily stay in bed long after the sun made its appearance. He doubted that I had ever gotten up early enough to see the sun come up and even if I had I wouldn't be cognizant enough to know which way to look.

His family and mine have vacationed together.

He's seen how miserably I rouse.

Still, the fact is, I have watched Ol' Sol come up hundreds of times in many different locations.

Most of the years that I was a street cop Out West I worked nights, by choice. I have always been much more comfortable and alert after dark so night shift was a perfect fit for me. Plus, all of the most interesting bad guys were usually out there at night. A side benefit was getting to see the sunrise if I wasn't still tied up on a dispatched call. If the streets had gotten quiet and all the burglars and pimps and other riffraff had been jailed or had vamoosed, I would find a quiet place on a ridge overlooking my city and watch the sun come up over the eastern plains. Even though I had been working the streets since 2100 hours (That's 9PM for you civilians) and was normally bone tired, the panorama was spectacular and different every time.

Several years ago, on a trip to Britain, I arrived at Stonehenge late one afternoon. Stonehenge had been on my bucket list for a while and I was not disappointed. I got there just in time to position myself to watch the sun go down behind the ancient stones. A pretty young woman from France was standing nearby and she remarked that, as remarkable as it was at sunset, it was even better at sunrise and that I should make plans to see it.

So, I did.

Collette, if that was her real name, was right.

Watching the sunrise behind the mysterious formations that have stood on the Salisbury Plain since before the Lord was born remains one of the highlights of my wanderings.

I once watched the sunrise over the Mackinac Bridge that connects the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. I admit, that viewing was quite by accident. I'd slept a few hours in a rest area and woke up cold and stiff so I started driving.

I got there at the perfect time.

It was early autumn.

It was breathtaking.

I've even watched the sunrise twice on the same leg of a long road trip. I left California early one morning with the intention of getting back to Georgia without paying for a hotel. The sun came up in my face shortly after I set out on Interstate 10. I drove all day and late into the night and, after a long nap in yet another rest area, I took off just in time to see the sun greet me again.

So, while I might exaggerate the facts every now and again, I have seen plenty of sunrises.

And, as for the most recent daybreak that I observed, the one that prompted the cynical harrumph from my accuser, I have photographic proof.

There is, for all the world to peruse, a picture of me standing on a beach with the sun just peeking over the far horizon.

Incidentally, a second unbeliever said that the picture could be of the sun setting, not rising.

Hardly.

Even me, with my tale-telling heredity, couldn't make the sun going down over Jekyll Island believable.

It was dawn.

I was there.

It was pretty.

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of two books of Southern Humor, Howlin' At The Dixie Moon, and, South O' Yonder. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com.

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