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Possibilities arise with the morning sun

Wednesday, 03 January 2018. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Possibilities arise with the morning sun
Possibilities arise with the morning sun

Welcome to a new year.

However you spent your holiday, I sincerely hope it was time that left you gratified, feeling relaxed and looking forward to a fresh start as we step into 2018.

Choosing a front-page photo is something I look forward to each week and it’s often not an easy task.

Knowing the photo this week is technically poor and shouldn’t have been a consideration based on photographic merit, I chose it anyway.

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I hope anyone with a connection to this fall’s Kenow wildfire will understand it’s the symbolism of the photo that gives it value.

On New Year’s Eve I asked many where they thought the perfect spot would be to capture the first sunrise of the year. There were many great suggestions, but I already knew where I was going to head in the morning.

I’ve watched the sun come up from the Pine Ridge viewpoint before and was surprised no one suggested it.

There’s a big rock, perfect to sit on and just be, if you’re lucky enough to have the space to yourself. That’s what I was hoping for.

I don’t know how many hours I spent at this spot last fall, both in the days leading up to Sept. 11 and in the weeks that followed.

Knowing some of Kenow’s devastation is now buried under deep snow is therapeutic.

The scorched earth is hidden from sight by the cooling and soothing snow. In spring the familiar landscape will have a new look.

We are keenly aware of what lies beneath the surface and that the face of the area will bear scars for generations.

The snow cover doesn’t change that awareness but, for the time being, provides a reprieve.

Each new year tends to bring out reflectiveness and a desire to be better to oneself and to others — it’s a time when possibilities and optimism blossom.

To start the year, alone at this spot, seemed right to me.

I left my home in Hillcrest at 6:45 in the morning with the goal of capturing a perfect sunrise photo for the front page.

The night before I had marvelled at the moonlight illuminating the snowy mountains and was thrilled that the day began with the same brilliance in the darkness.

After turning onto Highway 774 and driving up the first hill, I couldn’t resist pulling over.

The setting moon, the final one of 2017, was shining in my side mirror and it was stunning.

Out came the camera and with it the realization there would be no perfect low-light pictures. With my left hand encased in a rigid splint covered by a huge mitten, I couldn’t hold the camera steady enough.

Somewhat disappointed, I put it away and simply stood at the side of the dark road enjoying the sight of the moon disappearing behind a mountain peak.

A bright orange-red glow was already visible to the east as I passed Lee Lake. I couldn’t resist the urge to pull the camera out again, unfortunately with the same shaky results.

At that point I determined the day should be about personal enjoyment, not about work.

I’m not sure how many times I stopped to watch the sky or the wildlife on my way to Twin Butte. I didn’t meet another vehicle on the journey.

Pulling up to the viewpoint, light blues, purples and pinks glowed behind me. Before long it became the glorious hues caught in this background photo.

I knew I couldn’t hoist myself onto the big rock with only one hand, but waded through the snow anyway to enjoy the vista from that spot.

As the sky brightened, the first rays of the sunrise began to peek out from the mountains to the south.

I snapped and clumsily fumbled with settings on the camera and even tried a few shots with my cellphone.

The sun was blinding as it rose in the sky. The colours were much more fiery and brilliant than the picture suggests, but the blown-out ball of light was almost as white as it appears.

I stayed about an hour, until the sky turned solid blue.

For the rest of the day I drove backroads and main roads, marvelling at this beautiful area we call home. It seemed the sky was a different shade of blue each direction I turned.

The camera was in my hand often, but not with the same intent I had left home with.

It was freeing.

As I navigated, I thought about possibilities and goals from a different standpoint than I would have only a month ago.

Stopping for a visit at Shentons’ ranch in Gladstone Valley led to Brenda and I tromping through thigh-deep snow to see what we could see.

For me, it was a perfect day.

The cover photo is far from perfect, but it signifies a new chapter in local history as the first days of the new year pass by.

Like me, I hope you found at least one day in the past week that was truly good for your soul, and that you are excited about the possibilities that await in this new year.

Sunset and sunrise will always come back to back. The sweet part is making the most of what comes in between.

From myself and everyone at Shootin’ the Breeze, I wish you good health, special moments that create lighthearted memories and more possibilities than you can imagine.

Happy New Year!