It is early on a Saturday morning in Waikiki, Hawaii. I’ve come out on the balcony while night still holds sway, the ocean and starless, cloud-filled sky black as squid ink, blacker still when contrasted by the gentle, incoming breakers that almost seem to glow a spectral white in the lights of the many hotels. I’ve been lulled by the sound of those breaking waves all night, and have slept well for it. It is a calm, placid sound, a distant whisper from the world ocean.
I was awakened by the sound of laughter. Some women were frolicking in the night surf, shouting, ‘Oh, that’s cold,’ their voices mischievous and teasing. My mind’s eye visualizes them, and this is enough for curiosity to drag me from bed to the balcony window. I look for them, but they are gone. Oh well, they’re probably better as an unseen memory anyway, for in my dreams they were beautiful Polynesian maidens, out for a late night skinny dip.
As I sit out here, dawn slowly begins to blue the sky and sea with subtle temerity. It is as if she slowly shaves away onion-thin layers of the blackness, revealing at first only the darkest of blues and grays, which grow a little bit lighter with each passing second. At first the sea and sky are indistinguishable, a single dark nothingness. But as the light grows, slowly, ever so slowly, the horizon resolves itself into that razor-straight line of reckoning that has called to the hearts of travelers and explorers since time immemorial.
A few minutes pass. Dawn comes more quickly now; she adds subtle complexity to her empyrean palette, colors an artist might call cerulean, celeste, Prussian blue, cobalt, ultramarine, lapis lazuli, Davy’s grey. Between this mottled, sea and cloud-formed canvas is the air; the rich, clean, fresh morning air--an air which almost seems to resonate with a faint electricity in a way that can only be found in the morning, before the sun fully rises.
Dawn and dusk are both times of great beauty, and they are similar in that they are a transition between two states, a thing that exists only in passing, a realm that can be chased, but alas, never caught. Both dawn and dusk are subtly different incarnations of twilight, each with their own job to do, and each with their own effect on me. I see dusk every day, and always cherish the feeling it inspires in me. Dawn is a much rarer thing for me, not being much of an early riser. So for today, this morning, it is a pleasant thing to be greeted by dawn, and in her tropical livery to boot! For dawn is a time filled with promise, and it is like a promise both long held and diurnally fulfilled.
More time passes, and the world is fully awake now. The beach is filling with strollers, combers, joggers, and a few fishermen who have set up shop at the end of a small jetty. My little private dance with dawn has come to an end. But, as promised, I know I’ll meet her for many more, and each will have their own unique beauty.