An Extra Early Alarm

That first sliver of sun emerging from behind the buildings reminds me of the way it feels when you’re holding a newborn baby in your arms.  You wonder how such a tiny human can even exist when suddenly an illuminating smile spreads across their precious little face.  It’s that awe-inspiring sense of hope that I am overwhelmed by every time I witness the sun rising.  There’s a certain promise that accompanies it.  “See,” says the sun, “I am here and I always will be.  Even on those gloomy days, I’m just behind the clouds waiting to meet you again.”

I appreciate this promise since sometimes we have so many dreary days in a row I begin to question if sunlight itself has permanently retired to some other part of the world.  I really can’t complain however, considering I’m still in an insanely cool city and my friends/family in Michigan are suffering through a spring snow.  Although a bit over-ambitious, a goal of mind this semester is to watch the sunrise once per week.  I decided to strive for this many because I speculate I am maximizing my chances of seeing the most impressive display of colors.  I’m waiting for the perfect cloud-to-sky ratio to dazzle me beyond belief.

Naturally, there are times I miss my weekly rendezvous with the sun.  There have also been a few unlucky mornings that one large meddlesome cloud looms exactly where I wish it wouldn’t and obstructs the view completely.  Even on the overcast days, I am glad to have forced myself to roll out of bed at such an anomalous hour.  I am given the opportunity to join the bustling swarm of people hurrying to work during morning rush hour.  Dark eye circles and heavy lids occupy the faces of every individual traveling by metro around 6:00AM.  Once the doors open, the half-asleep crowd pours onto the platform and wills itself towards the escalator as one unified entity.  Despite being separate and unrelated, each passerby seems to share the same objective . . . to live, to get by every day.  We may be complete strangers who speak different languages, but this is where our humanness communicates without words.

On a less existential note . . . the experience has some fun and simple aspects as well.  I truly feel like a local when I’m handed a newspaper with a warm “dobrý den” (meaning “hello” or “good day” in Czech).  My journey to the sunrise typically ends on the Charles Bridge.  It’s an ideal location for watching the sun come up over one side of the city and cast a serene glow upon the other.  Being there at this hour also provides the benefit of a substantially smaller number of tourists which cover every inch of the cobblestone on nice days.  Below you can see some of the stunning views I’ve captured from the bridge.  Stay tuned!

Click on the images to enlarge them.

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