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A hope note

While the rest of my family is on the beach having fun (and damaging their skin), I’m in the room reading books and babysitting. Having had many sun-caused cancers on my Irish skin, I can’t afford to be on the beach after 8 a.m. and before 6 p.m.
So every morning I hit the beach at 6:20 with my camera, expecting a glorious sunrise. Two out of three mornings I’m not disappointed, and I go a little crazy trying to make the Ansel Adams’ money shot.
I’ve loved the dawn ever since I saw the movie ‘Shane’ as a little boy. I remember most the final scene, when Shane rode off, not into the sunset, but into the sunrise.
Sunsets, on the other hand, bear a certain melancholy for me, as in Tennyson’s, ‘Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me; and may there be no moaning at the bar, when I put out to sea.’
Sunsets for me are too much about endings, too much like grief and loss.
Probably the two most inspirational presidents of my lifetime were Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.
Nothing was more characteristic of FDR than his optimism; nothing the cartoonists used more than his smile; no word applied more to him than ‘sunny.’ The Reagan slogan, ‘I believe it’s morning in America,’ revealed his basic disposition and set the tone for his eight years.
Whenever someone comes out with a list of the most beautiful words in the English language, dawn always comes out near the top.
I wonder why?

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