Today I got to school about 5 minutes before the sun was to peek above an uncharacteristically cloud-free horizon and ran up the hill East of Regenstein to get a better view of what was undoubtedly going to be a spectacular rise. I was shocked to see that about a dozen people had beat me to the lake shore: a band of rowdy coeds, a pair of lovers cuddled together on a bench, and a quiet loner standing further back among the trees. Though my first reaction was disappointment that I'd be unable to enjoy the break of day in peaceful solitude, I quickly remembered that I'd often thought it a shame that so few people took the time to watch something as unforgettable as the sunrise over Lake Michigan. For a brief moment, the ridiculously cocky side of me thought..."Maybe all these people found my blog and decided to see for themselves what I've been raving about all winter." Well, ok...probably not.
As I neared the top of the rise, the group of coeds started leaving. "What?" I thought "Why in the world would they be taking off when the best is about to start?" Obliviously puffing their smokes, they continued walking and I figured they'd probably just been up partying all night and had only ended up at the lake shore on some random lark.
Oh well. Their loss.
As the sun crept slowly above the water, I heard a drunken shout coming from the direction of the music building: "Oh my GOD! It's BEAUUUUTIFULLL!" I turned and saw the party group stopped dead in their tracks and leaning back over the railing of a footbridge gawking in amazement at the sunrise they almost missed...
In less than a minute they had stumbled back to the viewpoint led by a girl only half dressed in an easter bunny costume hanging loosely off her bare shoulders. One of the guys began relieving himself on a rock and another said "Dude, there's someone taking pictures behind you"...guilty snickering all around. "I can't believe you can just look at it," a girl said, and someone replied "I think it's ok, just as long as it's by the horizon." I was surprised when I recognized a guy from my music and memory class among them...and hoped he hadn't recognized me back.
At this point the lover's bench had been vacated (maybe the public urination spoiled their mood) and the quiet loner had come out of the trees to stand along the shore with the rest of the crowd--though still keeping a marked distance from the party group's chemical-fueled silliness. It was an unlikely assemblage to be sure, but I couldn't help but feel gratitude for the naturally shared sense of wonder that had startled us all out of our various realities and drawn our eyes in unison to witness the simple glory of the beginning of day.