* sunrise *

It's 6:30 am in Myrtle Beach, and we're sitting on a gorgeous stretch of beach enjoying the pre-dawn quiet and soft muted-color views of sand, water, sky, clouds. We're facing east watching and waiting for the sun to come up. The temperature is perfect - it's the feeling of neither hot nor cold.

We have to keep our eyes on the horizon. The rising sun doesn't pause at the perfect moment for dramatic effect - even though there's an unspoken urging from all the photographers on the beach,"Just stop there so I can get my shot."

Late last night Scott checked online for the exact time of sunrise and interestingly it listed two times: 6:26 for dawn and 6:51 for sunrise. It was correct. As we stand here in the barely dawn, the sky becomes progressively lighter. At exactly 6:51, a tiny sliver of orange red appears on the horizon where the pale gray sky meets the deep gray ocean. We stand with eyes and cameras fixed on the scene. The sun comes up quickly - we can't take our eyes away or we'll miss it. Second by second, frame by frame, it rises bringing with it new colors...coral, purple, gold, white...and the beginning of a new day.
As we waited for the sun to rise, Scott set up his painting easel and prepared his little canvas so he could paint a picture of the morning scene. He quickly prepared his background so he could paint in the sun at just the right moment. On his palette he mixed his oil paints until the colors were soft and muted. I wanted him to paint a blue ocean, but the ocean here is not blue...rather a dark gray-green color. He knows what he wants. Yesterday he met a fisherman on the pier who told him that the sand for this beach was brought in when the big hotels were built - millions of tons of sand - and since then the ocean water isn't clear and the color is muddy.
While Scott paints, I watch people. I observe a woman about my age and her husband standing very still watching the horizon. As the sun appears, she begins to do yoga. She progresses through a series of yoga movements that I recognize as the Sun Salutation. I'm about 15 yards away and slightly behind her, so I start to follow along doing a modified version of her movements. She's strong, stable, and confident in her practice. I love watching and trying to imitate. I notice the husband looking back at me and then he speaks to her. She turns to glance at me and I embarrassedly stop and pretend to be straightening my towel. So much for yoga today. She continues her exercise repeating the Sun Salutation three times then sits on the sand with her head bowed. I feel calm and peaceful just watching her. 
As Scott continues to paint his scene, I sit on a woven mat and write in my always-with-me notebook. As the sun moves higher in the sky, I can feel it on my face. I wish I had my sunscreen. The beach is coming alive. Joggers and walkers pass with music in their ears. I notice the sounds around us - the waves, the seagulls, traffic. A family laden with towels and toys and noisy kids stops to set up their beach spot. There are shell hunters, treasure seekers, lifeguards, and lots of old people. Fishermen stand on the shore and seem to be more interested in talking to passersby than fishing. A few people are wading, but no one is swimming. The sun is very warm now and the day is going to be lovely.