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Between the Moon and the Sun

By Ann Driggers

Many mornings I rise early to ‘dawn patrol’, skinning up and skiing down a nearby mountain before work. Some days, in the depths of the winter, it’s too early to see but a glimmer of sun rise and headlamps are needed as we ski through the inky darkness. Other mornings it’s snowing hard in huge fat flakes and I revel in making deep powder turns as I ski back down. Every time is different and enjoyable in its unique way. But this morning was exceptional for I experienced a beautiful moon set and the most exquisite sunrise I have ever seen.

It was below -5F as I started out with the light of the waning gibbous Snow Moon illuminating the mountain. I climbed fast, trying to warm my chilled body. Upon reaching the summit I looked to the west, as the moon sank through the earth’s shadow, its umbra cast into the deep indigo sky.

To the east, Mount Sopris and the peaks of the Elk Range pierced through a bank of cloud as the golden orb of the sun slowly rose.

The cold night air had formed hoar frost on every surface - snow, trees, shrubs and rocks - which glittered and sparkled in the blue and orange light.

It was, quite simply, magical. I thought it wouldn't get any better until I looked to the north and into the aspens.

The bank of cloud was now rising and billowed through the enchanted forest...

It was so spectacular and such a spiritual experience I almost cried!

 Now the sun was marching upwards, the world full of bright white light  and the moon had slid behind the Mesa on the western horizon. So I skied down.

The wonderous moment where I stood between the moon and the sun was over. But as I carried it with me, I felt as though I was floating on one of those beautiful clouds all day long.

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