The sun began to rise, and little by little, the night sky grew lighter.
Inside the hotel room, her rarely set alarm began to buzz. She stirs, rising from her bed excitedly.
The night before she laid awake in the bed, kept up by the two squabbling gentleman outside her door. The night before was the first time she’d noticed the change. At first, she just laid there, frustrated and annoyed, cussing to herself and mentally pushing the impostors away. She sat with her anger for a while, as she normally would, opening the hotel’s amenity earplugs and forcefully squeezing them into her ears to drown out the unwanted noises. But she suddenly felt the switch. Something clicked.
She pulled out the orange ear buds, tossed them aside, and with a swift motion, pulled the blankets off of her as well. She marched to the door, and before she could realize the meaning of the situation and her actions, the latch was unlocked.
Excuse me, she begins, showing neither her anger or her frustration, only asking in a polite and decent manner for their consideration. Would you mind keeping it down?
As she settles back into bed, she laughs at her silliness. Why had I almost gone to bed angry? she asks herself. And as she dozes off, she smiles slightly, overhearing the gentleman’s pleas to quiet down the rest of his joining friends.
The alarm sounds in the early morning. Rested, she rises with power. She wakes with purpose.
She marches to the front of the hotel to visit the hotel clerk. She’d booked two nights in this Cocoa Beach hotel. But, No, she says to herself. I won’t stay another night.
A few moments and several exchanges pass over the hotel clerk’s countertop. With a final attempt she does it again. She switches.
Isn’t there anything you can do to help me?
She leaves the lobby, receipt in hand, first night paid in full. Smile on her face. She shakes her head at herself. She knows she’s had this power all of her life, and yet at 23, she’s only just realizing the power now. The power of asking.
She notices the luminance in the sky and she begins to worry. She hurries, panicked, across the parking lot and back towards the beach. She runs until she feels sand beneath her feet, and then she slows, devastated to acknowledge the looming force. The force that threatens to ruin the experience, the experience she’d planned and woken so purposefully for.
It’s cloudy, she thinks to herself, emotionally deflated. I’m not going to see it.
She notices the birds along the shore, the calmness and serenity of the scene, deciding there’s still room for enjoyment. She drops her belongings in the sand, pulling out her camera and walks towards the water, capturing a few shots of the morning landscape.
She looks up and down the beach, noticing the other early risers scattered along the shore of the hopeful tide. A single man stands purposefully, peering across the ocean towards the clouds, never taking his eye off of the distance. Something in their separate and scattered presence wraps them in some strange form of togetherness. The sunrise gazers.
She looks, too. She waits.
At first she doesn’t notice it, or perhaps she can’t quite comprehend what it is. A few seconds pass with its existence across the horizon before she catches her breath, realizing the presence of the force that is about to light the sky. She knows immediately, with a breath of relief, that she was wrong. Her lips part, and she breathes the fresh ocean breeze into her lungs. Her abdomen tightens with excitement, and her mouth widens in a genuine smile.
There it is!
In an almost undetectable, nearly imperceptible hole in the clouds is a small yet overwhelming ray of bright light and warmth. The rays of the sun finds the weakness in the cloud, immediately shining a beam through it like a pinhole in a curtain, slowly expanding its width and strength, beginning to deteriorate the surrounding haze. It’s warmth and strength, however stifled by its predecessor, is unstoppable.
In a moment of paralyzed awe, she breaths in the beauty of the moment. The sun, it’s fragile strength, now overtakes the impending, heavy cloud, eating and deteriorating all of the dreariness in the morning sky and with it stealing all of her doubt. She pulls out her camera to capture this moment that moves her, wishing she had more hands to video record it as well, every so often pulling her face from her lens and pausing to take in the moment first hand.
And as she watches the daily miracle run its course, the sun rises ever higher into the sky, with it bringing a whole new day. She looks over her shoulder, heading back towards the parking lot where her car awaits, and she sees the sun now peeking with ease above the height of the cloud. She smiles, looking down and shaking her head slightly.
Within the sun she sees herself. The sun and its elusive beginning, its challenging journey, its rejoicing feat.
The words come to her mind and she recognizes the familiarity of the sun’s life, the beginning that was detailed with doubt, but a presence that kept her standing at the waves.
Watching attentively, until she saw the glimmer.
The glimmer of hope.