SUNRISE or SUNSET?

Colorado sunrise. (Pictures by Marylin Warner)

Colorado sunrise. (Picture by Jim Warner)

Kansas sunset.

Kansas Sunset   (Picture by Marylin Warner)                             

Years ago, when my dad was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, during my visits Mom and I sometimes left him with his caregiver and promised to bring him a treat from wherever we went on our ride. It was always a difficult transition for Mom, leaving him behind, so on one visit I brought along a distraction, a CD of songs from Broadway’s most popular musicals.

As I drove along the swath of Ozarks terrain cutting through our part of Kansas, one of our favorites from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF began to play: “Sunrise, Sunset.”  During the refrain—“…sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days…seedlings turn over night to sun flowers, blossoming even as we gaze…”—the Kansas sun set in a blaze of orange and gold and red. I pulled off the highway and stopped to enjoy it.  In Colorado, the mountains are beautifully majestic, but they cut off the view of stunning sunsets.

As we watched the colors, I asked Mom which she enjoyed more, sunrise or sunset. Those of you who know my mother via my stories about her on this blog, what would you guess was her answer?  Before her dementia, on summer mornings she was up with the sunrise to work in her gardens before the heat, and she would pause to breathe deeply and welcome the beautiful possibilities of the day.  Also before the dementia, at sunset she’d watch the glow through her kitchen window or rest in her chair, tablet on her lap, and write lines of poetry or stories about the events and inspirations from the day.  So which do you think she enjoyed more, the sunrise or the sunset?

At my mother's assisted living ~ we know the driver of this car is partial to gorgeous sunsets!

At my mother’s assisted living ~ we know the driver of this car is partial to gorgeous sunsets!

Aubades are songs sung to the rising sun and poems written upon awakening at dawn. My mother kept a notebook of  her aubades, poems of early morning. But she was also a fan of Ann Landers, who wrote in one of her columns, “A happy marriage has the tranquility of a lovely sunset.” Based on my dad’s struggles with Alzheimer’s, I guessed Mom’s loyalty to their marriage would choose sunsets as her answer.

She thought for a while and then finally said that her favorite time of day was noon. If the sun was going to be out, it would be at noon, and she liked the energy it gave her to get done whatever had to be done.

Sunrise. Sunset. Noon.  As Abraham Lincoln wrote: “The best thing about the future is it comes one day at a time.”  And more recently, author of A CHILD CALLED ‘IT’, Dave Pelzer wrote: “At the end of the day you still have to face yourself.” 

Those were the lessons I learned from my mother’s answer that day: We take life one day at a time, and the best we can do is live that day the best we can.

Kansas farm land ~ I'm so sick of winter and I had to use this picture of warm, sunny days...

Kansas farm land ~ I’m so sick of winter, I had to use this picture of a warm, sunny day…

1921 ~ Mom with her brother in the sandbox on the farm, enjoying the sunny day.

1921 ~ Mom with her brother in the sandbox on the farm, enjoying the sunny day in Plattsburg, Missouri

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99 Comments

Filed under Abilene Kansas, Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, memories for great-grandchildren, special quotations

99 responses to “SUNRISE or SUNSET?

  1. juliabarrett

    I guess I’m a little like your mom. I like all times of day. Each hour possesses its own charm.

  2. juliabarrett

    Oh, and I love Kansas!

    • Each hour does have its own charm, Julia. But there’s something about a vivid sunset, especially when I’m in Kansas and can watch the blazing beauty, that amazes me. I feel calm and content, but also energized and eager to write, after a glorious sunset.

  3. Sunrise, sunset–in our part of the world sometimes they looks the same. Bookends of the day, they give us cause for pause, which you illustrate so beautifully with photos and choice literary pieces. I like Lincoln’s especially.
    And as your post implies, the end of life is often similar to its beginning, with our parents needing the help at the end like we needed in our own childhoods.

    • Well said, Marian. The end of life is often similar to its beginning. This is especially true with my mother, who has always found something to appreciate and enjoy in each part of the day, each season of the year, and also each stage of her life.

  4. Beautiful pictures, beautiful post.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  5. Don

    You’ve taught me something Marylin. I’ve never heard of Aubades. Need to learn a bit about them. As you write I have an image of your Mom working in her gardens. I couldn’t imagine a more productive and peaceful scene. I’m sure she must have worn a large colourful hat as she worked.

    “Sunrise, sunset” I remember the film and the song so well. It was just one of those masterful movies that made such an impression on all our family. we still sing songs from it – “If I were a Rich Man” – remember. Again thanks for such a bright and meaningful post. It’s the small things that create a life and make it so worthwhile. That’s precisely what I enjoy about your posts, Marylin.

    • Thank you so much, Don.
      My mother had one floppy big straw hat that she wore when she trimmed bushes and trees or painted the trim on the fences (to keep the twigs and bugs and paint out of her hair, I think). But when she worked in her garden in the early mornings, she didn’t wear her hat. Mom loved the breezes and the morning sunshine on her face. It was part of her healthy glow, and she wore very little makeup, except in winter when she couldn’t work in the yard.

  6. I do hope your mother can still enjoy the sight of sunrise and sunset – especially ones as beautiful as those in your photos. Dementia robs us of so much – it would be very sad to lose the power to appreciate beauty.

    • She sleeps in much later than she used to. But at night when she goest to bed, when I’m tucking her in or go to check on her, she’ll often ask me to open the blinds at the window. It’s next to her bed and faces east, so I think she might get to see some of the sunrises.
      You’re so right; dementia robs us of so much. I’m amazed, though, that she remains pleasant and content, which is very different than the effect Alzheimer’s had on my dad.

  7. Good morning, I remember the song too. Lovely post and thank you. Many blessings to you and your mother and family . . .

  8. Did your mother write serenades too? Noon is usually my best time too. Not too early, not too late, but just right. Is noon perhaps the part of the day at which she is happiest and most alert now?

    • No, I don’t think she did. She sang all kinds of songs and played both the piano and the organ, and she had the record sets of almost every musical and professional orchestra and choir. We had a lot of music in our home, but she wrote only a few children’s songs that I knew of.

      • How wonderful to have all that music 🙂

      • It really was wonderful. I remember when she ordered a set of classical music records (this was when they came as big records in folding display holders). One came each month for a year, and as a gift they sent a small wooden director’s baton. I’d listen to the music playing loudly on the stereo and would wave the baton, directing my dolls and stuffed animals lined up on the living room sofa.
        Ah, those were the days…;)

      • Ah, that’s cute. 🙂

  9. I’ve learned that your Mom is very wise. By answering ‘noon’ she is midway between the two phenomena, so she can appreciate one while anticipating the other.
    I’d never heard of Aubades either – between you and Tracy this week, I’m picking up lots of new knowledge. Isn’t blogging wonderful? 🙂

    • Your description is so much better than mine, Jenny: “she can appreciate one while anticipating the other.” That’s exactly how she lived!
      Blogging is wonderful! New knowledge, and new friends–a perfect combination!
      So, are you going to write a sestina? I was glad when Tracy told how long it took her to write one. I’ll need even more time!

  10. Mother always has the right answer–this time a combination of truth and cleverness. By choosing noon, she didn’t have to rank either the sunrise or sunset second.

    I’m storing this one in a file called “My answers, borrowed from Marylin’s mother.”

    P.S. I, too, have a collection of Aubades. 🙂

    • I’m not surprised, Tracy. Before my mother’s dementia, you and she would have had many things in common and much to discuss! I really wish she could understand your file called “My answers, borrowed from Marylin’s mother.” She would think that was so much fun. Thank you, Tracy.

  11. really, every time i come here I say the same things but I have to say it again: i simply LOVE your focus on family generational love.
    The media often refers to people our age as the sandwich generation, but rarely do they focus on the upside of our position! Your blog proves the sandwich can be very tasty…i love that!!

    • Oh, I love your conclusion, Karen, that the sandwich can be very tasty! And also nourishing, I might add, providing all kinds of things we need but couldn’t get otherwise.
      We are the sandwich generation, but I think it gives us a wisdom and a purpose…and a much fuller life. I never imagined myself in this role, but now I’m very grateful for it.

  12. Nancy Saltzman

    It is overcast and cold here this morning but I am thinking of your warm words as I get ready to take the dogs on a walk in the foothills. Thank you for your sunshine and words of wisdom.

    • You’re very welcome, Nancy. In both Kansas and Colorado, we’ve had enough of winter thoughts, so I focused on sunny gardening thoughts and images I remember with my mother.
      Your book is doing so well, Nancy, and you’re make an important difference in many people’s lives. I love your pictures on Facebook.

  13. I’m going to have to go with sunrise…which gives me such hope and inspiration for the day. I love sunsets, however, I always feel their poignancy…endings are not my favorites. I admire your mother’s attitude which is reflected in you.

  14. Nancy Parker Brummett

    I was going to guess she said “both,” so I guess “noon” was a good compromise! Love a quote I saw on the wall at an assisted living: “God loves the sunset just as much as the sunrise.” Good reminder for seniors in the sunset of their lives.

    • I like that, Nancy. It should be on posters hanging on the walls of all assisted living centers and nursing homes…in full color and Big Print.
      Actually, it’s a good reminder for all of us.

  15. Good words today about one day at a time while I moan and groan over coming new storm!!! Wish I could let go and let be, but I am quite tired of snow and ice, esp. as this time it will mess up doctor appointments and such. I prepare for winter right after Christmas, hunker down like I am in a bunker, but now I am ready to come out and face some sun!!! I guess I like sun rises best as they are full of promise!

    • Colorado has gorgeous sunrises, but we’re in the shadow of Pikes Peak and while the mountain–especially in winter–is spectacular, the setting sun gets lost behind the mountain so our sunsets are incomplete.
      One special gift of coming to visit my mom in Kansas every month is that I enjoy the full, vivid sunsets.

  16. lovely! if I had to choose, it would be sunrise.

    • I agree with you, Sheila, especially In the spring and fall when the sunrises in both Colorado and Kansas are brightly vivid and seem even more brilliant than usual. But there’s nothing more richly colorful than a Kansas sunset in winter, the way it plays off barren and snow-covered fields and bare trees.

  17. I am a sunrise fan…and each day when I watch it rise I do think ‘another day, a new beginning, a new opportunity’ and there is peace in that.

    • You’re right. As a girl, when I would wake up early and find my mother out in her gardens, working and enjoying the sunrises, she was at peace and was probably thinking what you just described.

  18. That is a tough question, Marilyn, and your Mom’s answer is perfect. I lived in the country from age 14 to 21 and my favorite moments were at sunrise and at sunset.

    One morning, when I looked out, the whole countryside appeared to be golden. It was gorgeous. Then the sun rose a little higher and the gold slipped away. I guess that’s why I favor Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” (It’s quoted in S.E. Hinton’s, “The Outsiders.”) Perfect.

    • As you were describing it, Judy, I thought of “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” It is a perfect poem to describe the image…and the warning from the OUTSIDERS. Kind of amazing that Hinton was barely an adult when she wrote that novel, isn’t it? I taught it for years in sophomore English classes with male students who just didn’t like reading…but they really got into THE OUTSIDERS!

      • Marilyn … “The Outsiders” is a story many of my 7th grade students can relate to and remember even years later. I know because they tell me so when we bump into one another. I can certainly identify with parts of it as well.

        At the end of her book S.E. said she “was actually 15 when I first began it. It was the year I was 16 and a junior in high school that I did the majority of the work (that was the year I made a D in creative writing).” That last part made me chuckle. The book is still relevant more than 50 years after Hinton wrote it.

      • Whoa, you really taught me something (again), Judy! I thought she wrote a short story about Pony Boy but got a D on it in creative writing (which made me laugh, too) because she missed the deadline and turned it in late. But I thought that when she wrote the full novel, it wasn’t accepted for contract until after she turned 18, which was good because she didn’t need an adult to sign for her.
        Whatever the details about S.E. Hinton, she knew how to strike a chord of truth with teens, and she did more for teen appreciation of “Nothing gold can stay” than anyone!

  19. Thank you for posting the picture of your mother and her brother in the sand box, so sweet, it made me smile.
    I try hard to live each moment the best I can, Marylin. Of course there are days when I fall short, but then I remind myself that today, I’m alive. We never know what tomorrow will bring, so I count my blessings each day.
    As for sunrise verses sunset, I’m a sunrise gal. When I drive to work each morning and watch God’s work in the sky, I’m so thankful and truly amazed.

    • And the 30 years I taught h.s., Jill, I drove across the city to get to the school before my 7:05 class, but the traffic ruined my chance to enjoy the sunrises.
      Like you, I realize that we never know what tomorrow will bring, so I try to make the most of each day.

  20. I love this post! I like both the sunrise and the sunset. What a lovely photo of your mom and her brother in the sandbox. Such beautiful memories!

    • The sandbox photo of my mom is one of my favorites, Elaine. If I’d thought of the photo when I asked her which she liked better, I might have realized she say noon, or sometime when the sun was high. My grandmother kept her children in bonnets and hats on hot sunny days, and my mother loved playing outside.

  21. You, and your posts, lift me up, Marylin…just like a sunny day. I love the sunrise with its promise of what the day may bring…and the sunset when I can enjoy the satisfaction of a day well spent. And if I have to drive, I love noontime…when the sun is not in my eyes no matter if I am traveling east or west. 🙂
    You are a blessing to many, Marylin…by sharing your memories, you give them to those who might not have such beautiful ones.

    • Thank you so much, Vivian. Your kind words mean a great deal to me. You do so much for parents, teachers and writers and their influence on children, and if my mother had known you before the dementia, she would have loved talking children’s stories and illustrations with you.

  22. In the bio on S.E. Hinton in her “Outsiders” book, it says that the book was published during her freshman year at University of Tulsa. So, she might have been 18 when it was published.

    The pressure from being an overnight success resulted in a 3-year-long writer’s block. Her boyfriend (now husband) “eventually helped break this block by suggesting she write two pages a day before going anywhere. This ultimately led to her second novel, “That Was Then, This Is Now.”

    • Just between us, Judy, 😉 I thought THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW was an okay book, but the students I had by then didn’t take to it…and by then other male-dominated novels had filled much of the void so only a few were reading THE OUTSIDERS.

  23. It is clear how well your posts resonate with so many people Marylin. I am a sunrise person although I struggle to see so many nowadays. It needs a special effort. We are vaguely contemplating a move at the moment but if we do so I have said it must be my last. I want to live somewhere where I can still have glorious sunrises and sunsets. Sunrise is a celebration of renewal, another day dawns and all I wish for is to be at peace with life. Aubades is a new word for me too!

    • There’s such creative elegance and truth in your BAD pictures, Andrew, that I think any taken in early mornings should qualify as Aubades. (For those unfamiliar with Andrew’s Bird A Day photographs, you’re in for a genuine treat…visit his site.)
      If your move requires both beautiful sunrises and stunning sunsets, Andrew, I recommend you move to the top of a mountain or stay on the plains. We love living in Colorado within walking distance of the Garden of the Gods and in the shadow of Pikes Peak, but since we’re on the east side of the mtn., we don’t get to see a full sunset. I have to come home to Kansas for the sunsets.

      • At the moment we face due East, Marylin, so we get glorious sunrises but see no sunsets. I don’t think we have a Garden of the Gods anywhere near here. Thanks for the BAD plug but I am a long way behind. Its a flower day today.

  24. Marylin, I read that post twice over, stopping with you to watch the golden sunset of Kansas, moving into the morning and evening rituals of your mother, learning about Aubades and the tranquility of sunset as she had said. Those are beautiful songs and quotes. Dave Pelzer set me thinking.

    • I’m glad you came along on the journey! Thanks for the kind comments.
      Pelzer’s book isn’t for everyone–it’s a memoir about his childhood abuse
      –but his ‘lessons’ about life really make you think.

  25. Marylin, You know I love every one of your posts, but this post… was hands down my favorite. Sunrise, Sunset, Noon! I will never forget it and the reasons for your mother choosing noon. The quotes by Lincoln and Pelzer are indeed quotes to live by. I can envision your mother sitting in her chair viewing the sunset, tablet in hand, writing lovely words of inspiration and love; words to cherish. Have a fabulous week! Love to you both, Robyn
    PS – I will have Fiddler on the Roof in my head all day! Love it!

    • When we were choosing the sunrise/sunset pictures taken with our digital cameras, Robyn, I kept thinking that you would have taken much better shots…and without the phone lines in the second picture. I’m glad the Sunrise, Sunset, Noon examples resonated with you. The more I write about the little lessons I learned from my mother, the more I remember other wise things she also said. All those times I took her for long rides while she still could enjoy them, as it turns out it was for me as much (or more) than for her. Love to you, Robyn.

  26. Jim

    I’m definitely a sunrise person. I guessed Mary would have answered “sunrise” too. We know how much she enjoyed her morning “alone-time” while working in her garden or writing poetry. But then again, the Mary Shepherd we know and love is also known for choosing the unexpected response, especially if it affords her an opportunity to champion the work ethic over dreamy poetics! 🙂

    • You are the most respectful, kind and supportive son-in-law any woman could hope for, honey. The same gentle care and appreciation you showered on your own mother, you’ve always also shown for my mother, too. All the females in your life–your mom, grandmothers, aunts, sister, cousins, and especially me (your wife), and our daughter and grand-daughter–we very fortunate women. Thank you, sweetie.

  27. Hudson Howl

    As I read this, I did think your mother would answer neither, though her answer ‘noon’ is interesting. Perhaps it speaks to the era she was born into. Mothers, fathers, children all had to work hard just to survive. Noon hour on the farm, was when all got together as one. In the end, those that made it, where the ones where the family stayed intact or as close to intact as possible. You can call it family values if you like, me I just call ‘invaluable’ grit. Sunset and sunrise are wondrous to behold, but they don’t sustain the drive to survive as much as one would think.

    That said one of the most memorable sunrises I have witnessed was an indirect encounter where the sunrise took a backseat. Last year while in transit to an east central city in Cuba. I caught an all to brief glimpse of an image which will always remain with me. It was early morning, an a man whom had obviously just awoken and walked out of his small block home, stood in the middle of a field of goats, brushing his teeth, watching the sunrise over the distance hills. Am sure it gave him great comfort; just simple pleasure. After all, it is a scene played out all over the world. We all seek solace in a variety of ways. We have to work with what were given. For many, a simple pleasure is all that is afforded to them.

    • Astounding comments! I could ‘see’ the man brushing his teeth, watching the sunrise from his place in the middle of the field of goats! And you’re so right; we each seek our own solace. I believe my mother did answer my question based on her lifetime of working hard, and for her–because of her personality–she didn’t resent the work but was grateful for the sun that gave her energy to accomplish the work at hand.
      Simple pleasures often carry with them profound strength and confidence and the ability to forge ahead even when times are very difficult.
      Thanks for sharing your insights!

  28. A very thought provoking post Marylin. I thought that your mom was going to say that she enjoyed sunrise and sunset equally. Noon is a very good answer though… when you think about it (being able to play outside in the warm midday sun – with a proper bonnet on of course). Love the 1921 photo of your Mom and her brother in the sandbox. They were such cute little tykes!

    • I just love her toddler’s smile in the sandbox picture, Theresa. She still has the same natural, pleasant, enjoying-whatever-is kind of smile, even though she no longer peeks out from beneath her bonnet.

  29. I too join the surprise, I thought Mom would have been equally divided by sunrise and sunset, but then your memories of your Mom are always full of the unexpected and wonderful and this response just confirms her love of life and being all inclusive. And I can relate to taking every day as it comes and enjoying all of the nice things that I see and hear, just a pity there is always some tit hiding to try and spoil it, but never mind xxxxxxxx

    • Oh, I know, Tom, and although I used to cringe at students who whined that something wasn’t fair, what you’re going through really isn’t fair. Not for anyone, and certainly not for you. Your triumph against the unfairness is inspiring, though, the way you and Ishbel enjoy your vacation and your time together, plus the many ways you celebrate being a proud and loving grandfather of beautiful grandchildren, and the way you make the most of each day.
      I still have hope, dear Tom, that the final chapter is far from being written ,,,and a candle burns to support that hope.

  30. Loved your mom’s answer, Marylin. I guess it’s all about being present in the moment so we don’t miss it while we’re there!

    • Which is why it’s so amazing, Shel. Here is a woman who was vibrant, creative, hardworking, grateful for life and helpful in every situation…and now she has the same patient grace but doesn’t know where she is (or even exactly who she is much of the time). She still teaches me how to cope with the slings and arrows of life without even realizing what she is doing.

  31. Oh Marylin, I just love that song, ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ but I’ve never heard of Aubades. The images of your mom getting up ‘with the sunrise’ and working in the garden but then winding down at sunset and writing about her day coupled with your photos of a sunrise in Colorada and sunset in Kansas are delightful. Yet, and yet….your mother chose noon as her favourite time of the day,’because of the energy that the sun gave her.’ A great thinker your mom. I feel like writing an Aubade now and when I do (if I can) I will think if her…

    • When you do get up with the sunrise and feel the creative spirit guide your pen to write an Aubade, Sherri, will you please share it with us on one of your wonderful writing blogs?
      The last time I was up at sunrise while I was visiting my mom was many months ago. I heard a thump on the big window in the living room of her upstairs apartment, and I hurried out of bed and ran in to see a gorgeous, brilliant sunrise…and a smudge in the center of the window where a bird had flown into the glass.
      Somehow, I don’t think that’s exactly what an Aubade is supposed to be:
      “Ode to a smashed bird at sunrise.”

      • On no!! Poor bird, I hate it when that happens and I have to agree, ‘Ode to a smashed bird at sunrise’ doesn’t quite have the desired ring to it that one would expect from an Aubade 😉
        I am often awake in the small hours (especially when I’ve got things on my mind) but to be up with the actual sunrise is another matter. I now feel that I must make sure to be as I do really feel I want to write a poem to it since reading your lovely post. You know I like my sunsets so now it’s time for a sunrise and absolutely, when (I don’t want to say if) I do write it I will certainly share it and I will link back to you when I do so. Perfect excuse to do so as I’ve been wanting to do that for a while anyway, as I have plans, more on that later as you will see, ha 🙂

      • Excellent, Sherri!
        I look forward to reading your Aubade. I trust you to write something insightful or profound or vividly colorful…that doesn’t have anything to do with a bird smashed against the window! 🙂

      • Wow, well, you’ve set me a challenge Marylin and I hope not to disappoint – and I can assure you it won’t have anything about a bird flying into a window 😉

  32. Molly

    Although I am not a fan of being up super early in the morning, I love watching the start of something new. Sunsets, although beautiful (especially in Kansas) signify the closing or the end….and it just kind of makes me sad!

    • And on the mornings you drive to work extra early to finish work or set up plans for the new employees, you’re driving west, away from the early morning color of sunrise. Oh, Molly, we both should have inherited my mother’s (and your grandmother’s) energy for early morning gardening before going on to our jobs. Remember, she worked at the dealership with Grandpa, too.

  33. Marylin, I thought where I live had the best sunrises and sunsets, but yours are simply breathtaking. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

    • Thanks, Tracy. Sometimes we take sunrises and sunsets for granted, don’t we? Writing these memories about my mother’s life before her dementia is a gentle reminder to pay attention to these simple, colorful, energizing moments that are all around me.

  34. Karin Van den Bergh

    Beautiful post with beautiful pictures Marylin! Sunsets or sunrises I absolutely love them both – during vacation I favor sunset though 😉 but right now I would enjoy any time of day as long as there is SUN involved 😉 Lots of it!! (so sick of winter and the cold gets to my bones)

    • You and I are on the same page there, Karin! As I apologized in the post, I couldn’t stand to use current pictures of MORE snow and fog and bitter temperatures…so I used pictures of trees and fields, sunrises and sunsets during warm, sunny months. I needed the relief, too!

    • Bless you for sharing this, Tom! Larkin’s “Aubade” is powerful, personal and very real. This is not the kind of aubade I remember my mother writing, so this is a wonderful new lesson for me. Thank you.

  35. “Those were the lessons I learned from my mother’s answer that day: We take life one day at a time, and the best we can do is live that day the best we can.” This is the best message a mother can give to a daughter I think. I believe very strongly in living in the moment and making the best of every day as it unfolds in front of us. Thanks for sharing another beautiful and inspiring post with us Marylin. Take care and God bless.

    • I agree; it is one of the best messages a mother can give her daughter. And as I look at all the messages she gave by example, this theme is woven through the most of them, at least in some way!

  36. I love her choice, though I thought she’d choose sunrise. I am going to start taking time to enjoy the beauty of noontime, too.

    • This winter, about the only time that the sun gave energy to do the work ahead was noontime. But the last few days have been warm(er), sunny, and energizing, not just at noon, but also throughout the day between sunrise and sunset. Of course this is the season preparing for Springtime in the Rockies, Darla, so in two days we’re predicted to get another weekend of snow.
      But still, the goal is to make the most of EACH day, regardless of the weather or the brilliance of the sunrise or sunset.

  37. Jane Thorne

    There is always magic threaded through your posts Marylin. I love reading them. The love of nature that your Mum holds, passed down to you, with her wonderful wisdom gives a loving perspective on life. X

    • Thank you for this, Jane. The deeper Mom’s dementia, the more I search for those threads to hold on to and wear in my memories. I’m always so glad when those threads mean something to others, too.

  38. Jane Thorne

    Also, I love the photograph of your Mum and her brother playing in their sandpit. They look so happy. 🙂

  39. Lovely post! And a great question too. I’m a sunset person, because I don’t often open my eyes at sunrise.
    Your posts, as usual, remind me to pay attention to the every day miracles. A beautiful sunrise or a sunset is a small daily miracle.

    • The small daily miracles are so important, L. Marie. And ever sense my mother’s response, I’ve considered the warm sun of noon–and the energy it provides–a miracle, too. Especially this winter when there were few sunny days!

  40. I am so glad your mother refused to be limited to just two options – I bet she was great at cards.
    In our northern home where we spend most of our time – our living room looks east and we enjoy amazing sunrises. Throughout the fall and winter the sky gives us an amazing slowly changing show each morning.
    When we spend our two months in the south our balcony looks westerly, so we enjoy fabulous sunsets. How could I possibly choose between them?
    As I age, I can find the sunset metaphor a little disturbing, that final sunset seems to be more evident as each year passes. 🙂 Yet, each sunrise can seem more glorious, the gift of another day to live and breath and cherish. 😀 I once heard or read advice – start each day thanking God for the day ahead and all of life’s blessing – saying “This will be the best day of my life”. End each day thanking God for the blessings of that day, and no matter what happened that day say “This was the best day of my life”.

    • My dad always got up very early in the mornings to think, read, and prepare his mind for the day. One of his favorite sayings was “Every day is a good day. Some days are just good-er than others.” My mom would smile at the bad wording, but we knew the point he was making.
      When the Alzheimer’s devastated my dad, he still tried to get up early…but he was often trying to get away, walk out the door and escape whatever it was that was in him.

  41. I wonder if sunsets have more purple and sunrises have more orange and yellow? I am never sure when I study people’s photographs. I was surprised your mother chose noon as her favorite time of day. Since you asked, I had thought since she was an early riser, she would have chosen sunrises. I like “Fiddler on the Roof,” the music is so family oriented and relatable. I sometimes like that I see sunrises in the mornings in Spring, on my way to work, but the feeling of being relieved that the end of the day is upon me, makes me appreciate the sunsets, even more! Smiles, Robin

  42. Thanks, Robin. Like you, I appreciate the sunsets and the feeling of being relieved (and relaxed) at the end of a long day.

  43. Yes, so relaxed! The sigh at the end of the day, Marylin! Smiles, Robin

  44. Pingback: Aubade – A Poem for Morning’s Sweet Light | A View From My Summerhouse

  45. Marilyn your post was an awesome delight to read! A very beautiful message lies within it. I love the end of the day, and the break of dawn, because at both times I am giving God thanks for how my day ending asking forgiveness for what I may have done and dawn, where I thank Him for his breath again. Thanks for sharing…..

    Changes (Days End)

    With the coming of the setting sun,
    When it seems that my day is done
    There is always a continuation of time
    Where I weigh my day’s final outcome

    It’s a time to reflect on the day’s events
    On all the things that made it complete
    For only in reviewing my many steps
    I might find in my sleep a heavenly peace

    I view my mind’s kaleidoscope of images
    Both good and bad and also in between
    For only then might I grow wiser inside
    So a much better life tomorrow I may achieve

    And after fully critiquing this day’s events
    I kneel down by my bed and fervently pray
    That God above might help me to correct
    My many mistakes that were made today

    Wendell A. Brown

    The One I Do Think Of (Dawn)

    So blissful is the morning
    When in my ears are heard
    The songs

    The songs that are sang
    By angels, as they
    Awaken with the dawn

    And go on their appointed
    Duties, to make a day
    Become so alive

    With the love of the
    Eternal One who
    Dwells up in the sky

    The flowers open wide
    This day, and with their
    Beauty, give Him praise

    The birds majestically
    Spread their wings in
    Prayer dancing as they
    Spiritedly fly on their way

    And the sun so bright
    Mightily awakens, and
    Truly shines his very best

    For he knows the Lord
    Is deserving of his praise,
    And he will never
    Deliver anything less

    And so blissful is this
    Wondrous day, that
    Is so alive with our
    Great God’s love

    That I am just
    Like all the others,
    For it is He alone
    That I do think of.

    Wendell A. Brown,

    Have a beautiful day and weekend my sister…thanks again for the inspiration!

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