On a trip to Virginia Beach last December, I got up early and watched the sun rise.

sunrise virginia beach

I still think about how cool it was to sit on the dark beach and watch the sun peek above the horizon.

So when the hub and I went to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach last weekend

back bay national wildlife refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

I realized I had the opportunity to see the sunrise at the beach again.

So I set my alarm, but when I woke up there was no yellow streaked sky. No fiery sun.

Just a whole lot of clouds.

And I was puzzled.

Sure I’ve seen lots of overcast days, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me that there could be clouds blocking the horizon at sunrise.

I don’t know why. Maybe because it was so spectacular last December, I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

But there it was, a hazy, muted sky.

It was just different. And for a moment, kind of empty without the sun all up in my face.

And as I stood there I started to identify with that bit of emptiness, that difference.

Some days it’s really strange  to realize that in one year both of my kids left for school (the con of having 2 kids fifteen months apart), but then it’s not so strange, because while it’s oh so bittersweet to move on from that really great part of my life,

there’s still so much life as usual,

the work and the fun

and I’m learning a new routine, a new focus

and climbing mountains with my husband

humpback rock view_opt

 My view from Humpback Rock in the Blue Ridge mountains

And finding my heart can be in more than one place

fossil beach york river state park_opt

Fossil Beach at York River State Park 

And planning visits to see our kids in NYC and Colonial Williamsburg

family hike

And getting to see things from their point of view

And tasting new and surprising things

sno to go snowcones_opt

Snow cone + soft serve = Sno To G0 (in Williamsburg, VA)

(and realizing that in some situations you can eat the yellow snow.)

But most of all, I’m seeing that a different sunrise, can still be a pretty awesome view.

hazy sunrise virginia beach

A hazy, beautiful Virginia Beach morning

What view are you enjoying?

Happy Friday!

 

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40 thoughts on “A View From My Heart: Sunrise and Snow Cones

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Ah well you are sweet, Teresa. I have to say i spend time staring at the not so bright side of things too but ultimately i find myself here. Oh and in addition to your blog posts, I love when you show your garden offerings on FB. Something about a garden inspires me too. Thanks, Teresa!

  1. Patricia Tilton

    I love visiting your beautiful post — even thought the sunrise didn’t cooperate. It really is symbolic of the changes you’re going through. And you and your husband sound like you’re have such a great time traveling and spending time together. Don’t know how old you are, but you are nearing your power years where you are successful at what ever you choose to do. It’s a great time for you.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Thanks, Patricia. I’m 45 and I think I know what you mean about power years. There is some kind of empowerment brewing underneath all this change. 🙂

  2. Carrie Rubin

    What a lovely post. Life is all about chapters. My oldest will be gone next year, too. It’s dawning on me that this is the last fall I’ll have with my oldest at home. It’s a bittersweet feeling for sure.

    As for that Sno to Go treat–Yum!

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Bittersweet is really the only way I can describe it right now. I’m so proud of my kids and excited for them, but at the same time I cannot quite wrap my brain over the fact that the daily mothering days are in the past. But yeah, sno cones mixed with soft serve are a way to sweeten the deal. 🙂

  3. Jennette Marie Powell

    Wonderful pics, as always! Funny how such things can give us a different perspective. Just this morning, I was thinking that it was actually nice that it was overcast, because it meant I didn’t have to drive half the way to work holding my hand up to block the sun and avoid being blinded!

  4. :Donna

    Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pics with us, Coleen 🙂 Life certainly is about these transitions and though it’s often tough to leave one part behind, what comes is just as beautiful in its own new ways. 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick

      That must’ve been so pretty. I don’t know if I’m remembering this right, but isn’t there a spot in the Keys where you can get an unobstructed view of both sun rise and set? So cool.
      Thanks, kassandra!

  5. 4amWriter

    Great post. I love Williamsburg, although I haven’t been there in many moons. I just get a kick out of stepping back into time like that. I think it would be hard to go through having both your kids leaving around the same time, especially because you seem to be such a close-knit family. I’m happy for you, though, that you have the means to visit them! Enjoy every minute!

  6. kath unsworth

    Coleen these photo’s speak for themselves your next journey looks beautiful and exciting. Embrace it and go with the wonderful flow of life. By the way your children are gorgeous.

  7. Joanna

    Sno Cones and mountain climbing with hubby sound a great way to transition to the next chapter. I admire you going for sunrises, I often opt for the sunsets, but I love early mornings and the light then.

  8. Karen McFarland

    Hey Coleen! What a good looking family! Ack! I remember those days. I had two boys, sixteen months apart. Well, they’re best friends. So what did they decide to do. They moved out together! Talk about empty nest! Yeah, I was lost for a while. So glad you and hubs are taking the time to enjoy life and the fam! 🙂
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