We climbed to the top of Coon Mountain
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A process of sunrise, 8/31/09

It is the kind of sunrise for which you have to wait for the complex display of light that will inevitably come. Patience. Put on the coffee pot and get the camera from the basement.

The sky is clear and blue-grey, with only feathery clouds up high. The lake is rough, but without whitecaps. The usual sailboats are there in silhouette, but without reflections. Heavy dark storm clouds hang over the Vermont horizon, the scraps of a passing hurricane. But there are gaps and the sunlight finds them: the profile of the Green Mountains becomes clear in subtle shades of gray, while the topmost storm clouds radiate holy light. The high clouds are pastel yellow now.

The coffee smells good and you are impatient, but it would be unwise to walk away just now because you know the sun in about to break through.

A faint strip of gold stretches across the lake even though you cannot see the sun. A few ducks are swimming in the brook that empties to the lake, but not the heron this morning, unless it is hiding in the reeds by the bridge.

The gold strip disappears. A flock of swallows flies by.

sunrise 8/31/09

Now the sun breaks the cloud horizon, and at first there is no gold strip, but then it grows. The ducks in the brook swim as a group to the lake. The tops of the storm clouds look like fluffy yellow cotton candy. The strip of sunlight has the texture of dragon's scales. A nearby bird cheeps and cheeps as though announcing the sunrise. The sunlight warms your skin. The drama is over. You get the coffee.