On our first day in Tahoe I awoke several times throughout the night and finally decided to stay up around 4am – my typical wake-up time considering the 3-hour time difference. After hearing that a few groups (also East Coasters who were wide awake in the morning, and completely dragging by early evening) had gone down to the lake to see the sunrise, I knew I had to do it too.
Friday morning found us taking a stroll around the resort which ended with an “I’m-too-chicken-to-go-any-higher” hike up a nearby mountain. Saturday, I felt peace and we climbed higher and hiked longer since we knew where we wanted to go and didn’t “happen upon” the trail.
Following the celebration dinner where everyone came together to share in rich conversation and the accomplishments of our weekend’s work, we proceeded to hoot, howl laugh and cry through the Open Mic portion of the evening. I’m not sure if the headiness I felt was due to the overwhelming sense of awe that I had spent three days with such talented and intelligent people or if it was an effect of the margaritas. Perhaps one intensified the other! Either way, it carried me back to the room where I sleepily crawled into bed for the final night.
“Are we going to the lake tomorrow?” Melissa asked.
“If we make it, great! If not, it’s no big deal,” I replied. “I’m not going to set an alarm. We’ll see what happens.”
“Are you sure? You’ve wanted to see it since we got here,” she continued.
“I know, but it’s a late night and a long day tomorrow. We’ll see. G’night!”
I welcomed sleep and savored the restorative rest I knew I’d need for the day of travel ahead. Knowing that we were slowly adjusting to the time change and suspecting our latest wake-up yet, I accepted that I’d see another sunrise, another day.
* * *
The darkness in our room was my first clue that I’d awoken in time, even without an alarm. I checked the clock – 4:59. Having researched it earlier I knew that dawn typically broke around 5:45 – just enough time to walk the mile or so into town to the lake. I contemplated staying in the comfort of my warm bed for a couple hours longer knowing that I wouldn’t have the luxury of sleeping in once I returned home to the kids I desperately missed.
Then, in the quiet of that room, I knew I had to go. I’d never felt more certain of anything in my life than I was at that moment. I knew that God had prepared something special and that he was inviting me to share that beauty with him.
It’s impossible for me to choose a favorite among these, because they each capture a portion of my experience. If you can, leave a comment telling me which one you like best!
What’s shining in your world today?