The best of us take great strides in perhaps one or two areas—in humility or sympathy, in patience or gentleness. But the best of us still have such great flaws, such tragic imperfections, and will take them with us to the grave. The best of us are like these few acres of natural beauty in the midst of a city chock-full of suburban sprawl and industrial ugliness.
There are few things I love more than a good sunrise. There are few things I love more than waking up before dawn, driving to one of the parks or beaches along the shores of Lake Ontario, and watching the sun rise over the waters. Some of the richest and most beautiful displays of God’s artistry are painted across the sky in those few moments just before and just after the sun rises beyond the far horizon. It never fails to awe, never fails to delight, never fails to inspire.
One of my favorite spots is on the edge of a conservation area a few minutes from my home. After cutting through some dark forest and walking along several boardwalks, I arrive at a rocky beach. Following the shore for some time, I come to the mouth of a small creek that empties into Lake Ontario. The lake is before me, swampy marshland behind me, this little creek beside me. I have only ever had the place to myself and have only ever seen the sun rise beautifully from this spot. I set up my tripod and camera. I sit and wait to see what God will do.
I have enjoyed some beautiful moments here. I have watched the mist rise as swans paddle their way between myself and the sun, their form perfectly silhouetted against the bright yellows and oranges of the dawn. I have had herons land just feet away and stand stock-still before me, little otters skitter past, diving birds splash into the water all around.