This week has had its ups and downs. On one hand, I’m getting a good feeling for my internship and had a couple of really productive days, and I’m really enjoying Amarillo. I had a good week’s worth of workouts, and I’m speeding through my pile of books to read.
On the other hand, I miss my family and friends like crazy. This was UNL’s first week back to class, and seeing Facebook posts about it made me wish I could hang out with my friends, drive to Omaha to see my sister and complain about the recent cold front that sped through the Midwest and left some snow behind. The truth? No matter how busy I stay, no matter how much I text my friends or talk on the phone with my family or stay in touch through social media, there is no replacement for driving five minutes to see my best friends. There is no substitute for deciding to leave town on a whim and spend the weekend with a sibling or cousin or parents.
Thankfully, I have a fury friend named Oedipus who gleefully purrs beside me while I fall asleep, wakes me up at 5:30 with demands for attention and is currently curled up on my unmade bed, just happy to be close by while I write. As silly as it sounds, having a cat is like having a constant reminder that life must go on.
Which brings me to this morning.
All week I’ve glanced through photography magazines while I’ve done my dutiful 30 minutes a day on the elliptical machine, and it occurred to me that it’s been a long time since I’ve taken any photographs just for the sake of practicing taking pictures.
This morning, I woke up while it was still dark, drove to the outskirts of Amarillo, and found a nice deserted patch of road where no one would notice if I parked my car for a few minutes. I got out, thankful for my jacket, gloves and warm boots, and started snapping some photos of the skyline, a tree, a bush, some barbed wire fence.
Suddenly, to the southeast, the sun twinkled on the horizon. Every second more and more of it appeared in the distance, and it almost looked like a raging fire with no smoke. It shimmered through the atmosphere, and I took a whole bunch of pictures in the brilliant light.
When I turned around to get back in the car, I saw how the sun had lit up the entire landscape in a golden glow.
I’ve seen countless sunrises over the past 22 years, but seeing Amarillo bathed in that brilliant light, seeing how the glow spread over everything, felt like magic this morning. More than anything, it reminded me that photographing that sunrise was just the beginning of the day. I have no idea what the rest of this day or month or year will bring.
This is just the beginning.