The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night… All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. –¬†Henry David Thoreau, Walden

The next time you are in the mountains, make a conscious effort to wake up before the sun. Even if you aren’t planning to get an ‘alpine start.’ No matter how tempting it may be to stay in your warm cocoon, discipline yourself to crawl out of your sleeping bag and watch the sunrise.

Feel the bite of the cold air and the depth of the darkness. Watch the stars fade and the black sky turn to indigo blue. Try to notice the very moment when the first rays of sun touch the summits. Observe the subtle transformations in the hue, saturation and intensity of the light as it cascades down to the valley floor in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of color and shadow.

There is something magic about this time of day, this space between the night and the dawn. Let this time be a time for being, a time for intentional seeing.¬†See if you can be present in this ‘morning atmosphere’ and carry it with you throughout the day.

If the moment moves you, take a picture. Then you can go make your coffee.