Red Maple and Early Morning Sun

Early Morning Sunlight on Red Maple

Red Maple and the Early Morning Sun

Turning toward the other side of light,
In a tower of wind, a tree idling in air,
Beyond my own echo,
Neither forward nor backward,
Unperplexed, in a place leading nowhere.

~ Theodore Roethke,  from “Journey to the Interior”

The last few mornings have been both ordinary and extra-ordinary.

This morning I was in my backyard watching the sunrise as I have done the past few days. The sun is hidden behind a large stand of trees, so I don’t see the sun as it peeks over the horizon. Instead I see the sun’s first light rays not in the sky, but as the light strikes the tops of trees  several blocks away from my home.

Then I wait about five minutes, and I am treated to one of nature’s finest gifts – and it takes place in my backyard.

I watch as the sun’s rays hit the very top of the red maple in my yard.

The maple has just begun to change colors, and the colors change from top to bottom. The maple reminds me of a giant green candle, and the candle’s flame? The red leaves flashing in the early morning sunlight.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She quickly pulled on a jacket and a warm hat to take photographs of the red maple in the early morning sun. Unfortunately, she went out wearing only socks on her feet, and had to come inside quickly because her feet were wet and cold.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. The poem and the image of the tree are wonderful. I can see why you’d compare it to a candle. The red leaves really do look like the flame of a candle.

    I hear ya on those wet and cold feet. I’m finding myself in the same position lately.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I’m still watching the flame light each morning! And I pulled out my rubber boots, so now my feet are warm and dry — good plan! 🙂

  2. Ah fall rolls on.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Fall is just beginning to roll in. I love early fall, even the middle of fall, not so much the end of fall…

  3. I love the colors a lot Bo

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Chantal. We planted this maple in a prominent place in our backyard fifteen years ago, just for these very moments now!

  4. Joanna Paterson says:

    That’s beautiful Bo, thanks for sharing the moment, wet feet and all!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thank you, Joanna, for sharing, too. Bet you’ve had your share of wet feet too, walking in the Scotland bogs. (Are they bogs?)

  5. Victoria (Sweden) says:

    Very nice picture!

  6. Lovely image. And such a perfect poem to go with it! Lovely, Bo.

Leave a Reply