Moved by the colorful morning sky |

Moved by the colorful morning sky

by Amy Roby
Amy Roby

I am a night owl. By that I mean I am most inspired and most productive after the sun goes down. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.

There’s a childhood memory I carry of a summer spent with my Nana and Papa in Pennsylvania and the digital Timex Indiglo watch they gave me for my birthday that year. My younger sister and I made a game of trying to stay up until the watch turned midnight, just to see those little numbers change to 12:00. My sister usually fell asleep before the magic hour; I never did.

I have tried to be a morning person. Really, I have. There’s a plethora of “bedtime” teas in my kitchen cabinet, lavender-scented bath salts and soaps near the bathtub for an evening wind-down soak, and a pile of good books on my bedside table. My plan of reading in bed as a way to quiet down, however, typically backfires. If the story’s engaging, I’m all in. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve never had a television in my bedroom.

Attempts at pre-dawn rising are sporadic, at best. No matter how early I get myself to sleep the night before, I have to be awakened by the piercing alarm from the clock I’ve had since college. It’s one of those obnoxiously intermittent shrieks that jolts one from deep slumber; it’s a surprise the neighbors haven’t complained.

My mom is in the middle of a move, and I traveled over the hill last week to help her with the transition. The unpredictable weather necessitated an early start. I was awake before the sun and after a couple of cups of strong coffee, headed out the door just as the morning light was starting to make its way up and over the eastern horizon.

The sight that greeted me from that direction was a showstopper. The sun hadn’t yet crested the range, and the magnificent glow from the accumulating light was amplified by low storm clouds. Above the clouds was one of the most brilliant hues of indigo I’ve ever seen. The intensity and radiance of this splendid sight made me glad to be out and about at what is typically an unwelcome hour.

Walking at night and looking at stars is one of my favorite things in life. The morning spectacle from the other day opened my eyes to an entirely different kind of joy. Shaking ourselves out of routine can be a very good thing. Our vast skies here in the Carson Valley are an invitation and a reminder to get out there and, more importantly, look up.

Amy Roby can be reached at