I awoke at 3:00 am on a Saturday morning to the theme song for Beverly Hills cop.
I threw the covers off my bed and leapt out of the warm cocoon that I had spent the last 6 hours in. I couldn’t keep a smile off my face. After taking a quick shower and getting dressed, I headed to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee for myself and the rest of the crew.
Why? The real question is why not. There existed a period in my life where I would have rather given my life than arise at such a ridiculous hour. Now I welcome it like it’s a long lost friend returning from an extended period of absence.
I used to be an overweight gamer with no ambition beyond succeeding in virtual worlds. I was 10 or 11 when it began and 17 when it ended, but being only 20 at present, those 6 or 7 years command a large portion of my life.
I went through what today’s modern media would most likely call a “transformation”. I like to think of it as more of an awakening. Someone slapped me.
I took a sip from a matte black mug with the phrase “Get Shit Done” plastered on the front in a gloss white Helvetica. Looking into the camera lens that hovered 5 inches from my face I explained the situation with bountiful enthusiasm.
“It’s 4:01 am and we are getting ready to hike Mary’s Peak and watch the sunrise. All our gear is packed and we’re about to head out!”
I saw my buddies head poke out from behind the DLSR he was aiming at me, his grin just as wide as mine. I looked to my right and saw my other buddy and his girlfriend. They were glancing at me and preparing their coffee with the essential accouterments. Their smiles were just as visible.
There was something in the air that cannot be described adequately with words. The aroma of fresh coffee mixed with the crisp early morning air, the sound of laughter and breakfast sizzling on the stove. The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.
After finishing our coffee and breakfast we packed the ship that would sail us over the surrounding roads and into dense forest, where we would continue on foot to our final destination.
We arrived at the trail head. The darkness was all consuming. Beyond the reach of our headlights it was absolute blackness. And the silence. Never in my life have I experienced such an absence of sound.
The trek to the viewpoint from which we would watch the sunrise seemed to go by in a flash. Looking back, it feels like we somehow navigated the woods in an altered state, our minds saving their memory space for the beauty that lay just ahead.
What we saw when the sun began to show itself was unbelievable. It was a beginning like nothing I have seen before. The birth of a day, another opportunity to do something great.
guest post by Everett Bouwer