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August 15, 2022

Hamtramck Walk 01

By Amy Probst



I am standing on my back porch, marveling at what turns out to be a sunrise as beautiful as the ones on vacation, over lakes, or fields of green. Marveling, because this is a Hamtramck sunrise, and it's never occurred to me before that crumbly urban areas had such things as sunrises. Or sunsets. I guess it seemed the sun just creaked up into the sky in places like this, and gladly disappeared over buildings and houses and factories at the end of the day. I feel like I've found gold in the sandbox this morning; a fairy in a coalmine. Chocolate in my gruel.

The cement is cold under my bare feet; I was only letting the dog out an this early hour when I opened my door to Oz. Now, I don't want to miss a moment of the color and glowing magic in my backyard. Like the sea, my sunrise sky is changing every second --- too slowly to catch the shifts in light, but quickly enough that if I look away for a minute, I could turn back to find just ordinary sky. I don't risk it. I forget about my feet, and the cold, like I used to as a kid, when playing swept all other senses aside.

It's blowing my mind that wonder of this magnitude is here for the looking, no admission price, right out my own crooked screen door. Right here over my peeling garage, and the phone wires, and Trees of Heaven that grow like weeds in the cracks. An actual sunrise; the noun, not the verb. One-of-a-kind live artwork by Mother Nature, inspirer of poems, songs, art. Maybe I should have brushed my hair.

The remarkable thing about a sunrise, I think as my cat creeps down the steps to taste early morning grass, is that there's an aliveness here, a personal goldenness that seems to communicate with you; touch the deepest essence of who you are, and warmly let you know that it likes everything it finds there, just fine. It occurs to me that the idea of God could easily come from this, these few golden sunrise moments where Iメm feeling, queerly, something like being loved.

Over my garage, the colors are still pretty, but the vibrancy is gone now. (When did it happen? I've been watching all along.) I feel cold grab hold of my bare areas. Alone now on my back porch, up before the birds. But not the bakers --- I smell paczki in the air. I call the cat and go inside, vowing from now on to get up for the sunrise, because man did this feel good; a breakfast of gold. But backyard beauty, like a spouse or our own talent, is so easily disregarded for the fleeting wonders that we don't have regular access to. Chitty Chitty Bang Bank was magic on NBC, but renting it, it becomes ordinary sky. You know?

Article © Amy Probst. All rights reserved.
Published on 2003-12-13
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