A Tribute to the Sun on the Winter Solstice

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A few years ago I left my home in the mountains to spend a wintry week at the beach.
There, I had an unexpected affair with… the Sun
from Seduction to Awakening
in 7 days


“The dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.”

~Rumi

Sun Affair

Day I: Seduction

The Dawn

I wake in darkness, long before dawn,
and wait…

Wait till the sky begins to color in swaths
of peach and pink.

There in the distance,
I make out a light…
–a ship on the horizon
–a bright star
but too golden to be either.

I wait and watch
that flickering light,
until I understand that it is the jeweled promise of a new day

And then I throw on my coat and my boots
and run toward the beach
to catch it~

And though it seems to try, again and again, it never shows its face–
Simply paints the sky
lighter and brighter from its hiding place.

I return home, drowsy
thinking the day too overcast
to catch a sun.

I nestle back into my writer’s perch–
a cozy seat, looking out at the Atlantic
in soft light.

Yet in the moment that it takes to
tend the simmer of my chai at the stove
and place a steaming mug next to my sleeping beauty,
I find the white wall beside my chair

Awash with bold color!

Gasping, I run toward the sea again and find
a bright orange ball, hoisting itself
out of the ocean
and above the clouds
Bathing my face
in glorious light.

Those who wake only moments
later, find a world
winter white.

A thin line of color remains
where ocean meets sky,
a wink to those who witnessed this
particular dawn show.

The Sunset

At days end, we catch each other’s eye
across the bay
in a moment of “what if…”
but turn our separate ways, until

Night falls and I see
that he’s taken a paintbrush
to the sky.

I turn my head away, and rush
home
with milk,
unable to bear
such an unrequited
affair.

Day II:  Lover

This morning I’m stirred in the dark again,
but weary from the early rising the day before,
I attempt, again and again, to drift
back into my dreams.

“Go see the sun rise,” I nudge my sleeping husband
hoping his action will quell my own.

But once the room begins to lighten,
it is I who leaps from the bed once more,
Simmering chai while quickly dressing,
pressing my husband to come along.

I rush toward the beach,
mug bouncing in hand,
while my husband stumbles a block behind me.

He takes shelter from the wind beneath the deck
of a vacant, beachfront hotel,
and I turn back to join him there,
Sipping our hot drinks from this sterile perch.

Until,l I glimpse
him…

Just a nail tip
of an orange orb
behind the horizon lined clouds.

My husband yells something about “shoes and sand”
as I fly down the dunes to meet Him.

And there in full view of my man with whom I share my bed,
I open my arms to Another’s embrace,

Receiving him inside my heart,
wishing I’d come alone.

Later when I crawl back under the covers
instead of starting the day,
my husband rebukes these dawn antics,
tells me I have “crush” on the Sun.

I smile slyly before drifting off,
wondering how I will leave this Lover behind
when it’s time to go home to the mountains.

Day III:  Quarrel

I wake at before dawn for the third day in a row
Resenting
the demands of this relationship
Angrily
opening the blinds to see if he’s there
Mechanically
heading to the kitchen to brew my chai

to Wait,
wait, wait

for Him

It’s always Him,

WHERE is He?

When will He come?

Will I make it in time?

And then He mocks my indifference
and doesn’t rise.

He leaves behind his studly orange garb
and appears later, higher,
in Regal Robes
of gold,
Holier than thou light,

Casting his halo upon me,
soft, brilliant hues…
subduing my angst,

and i know,

I know

Wherever i go

He is with me

not as “other”

but as “One.”

Day IV:  Stalker

Exhausted, I want to forget him
Return to my sunless life
Enjoy the ease of an afternoon
Because I can no longer manage these dawn interludes.

But He is always there
and i feel him
pulling at me
even in my sleep
even on this overcast day
even with His filmy light

Day V:  Parting

I wake and realize that He is Risen
Without me.

I feel both relief
and Vacancy.

Today, I return
to the mountains
To a sun hidden behind hill and forest,

And I wonder,
How will I live without our ocean dawns?

Or is he one and the same
wherever I go?
Across the Millenium
Gandhi, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha?

How will I know him
without that brightly colored garb
or regal robe?

Can I return to him even if I cannot always stay,
Prodigal lover?

This morning I wake
with those
who know the world only
winter white.

I have missed the magnificence of
His dawning,
and I know it will
be a long time,
a long, long time,
before I embrace Him again.

His love is
Sacrifice
a blessing of light on my life.

Shining, but never joining
me
in bed.

Gate of the Morning,
I give thanks
for this new day.

Day VI:  Home

Who is it that shines in the sky and lights my morning mountain bed?  Bright, white, rising above the pines, reflecting snow?

It can’t be you.

It can’t be the orange garbed painter, the regal robed artist.

That beach, those sands, are over 300 miles away.

There is no sea here.

How do you still find me?

How large and omnipotent are you?

Unfathomable, inconceivable light reaching, heart touching, morning waking orb?

You are the light of the world.

How can that be?

You are the light of the world?

Impossible!

How can I experience such an intimacy to

the ONE
who belongs to ALL?

And what about you,

Are your rays that wide?

Sun, tell me.

How is it that you touch me so deeply while touching billions of others at once?

Embracing land and sea, forest and mountain, jungle and desert?

Through rain and snow and sweltering heat?

How can you be so large?

How?

And how do I bridge our intimacy with

the impossible span

of your

grandeur?

Day VII:  Awakening

I haven’t just discovered you, have I?

This has been a life-time affair.

Why didn’t you tell me?

How painful it must be to wait…

My childhood days with you on my back,

Mountain mornings of Sunshine on my Shoulder,

Marshland sunsets,

Pond dusks…

It has always been you and me, and then I forgot.

How do you love such amnesiacs?

(Funny that we wait

for the You to rise

into view,

when it is we

who are turning.)

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