It was a week of sunrises (most weeks are) and I decided to try to get down most mornings to Lake Parker to capture some of the twilight variances.

Normally, sunrises are quite special in Florida and I have become adept at guessing whether we are about to have a good one or not.

So, it was good fun setting out each morning in total darkness and trying to guess what magic lay ahead.

Other than a couple of foggy mornings, most of the twilights served up something special and I returned from the lake invigorated and ready for whatever the day would serve up.

Day 3 served up a very unusual sequence of lights far off in the sky that moved so fast it could not have been a plane. So, in the middle of all these pics was a genuine UFO capture.

Then, there was also the one morning in fog where the camera decided to turn the fog blue and I have no idea why, I was in manual setting and made no adjustment but all of a sudden this one pic came out blue.

Anyway, I have staged my selection from each day at the end of the blog. I hope you enjoy.

By the time this morning rolled around, I reflected on how normalized I had become to expecting great sunrises. It is an idiosyncrasy of us humans to adjust our level of normal to whatever we become used to.

We apply normal to ourselves and our approach to things also. And then we seek to judge others by how far away from our definition they are. In photo sessions (and in life) I have dealt with people on both ends of a spectrum to where they are so far apart, it is hard to imagine it is a single spectrum.

Yet almost everyone thinks they are normal. Just like everyone thinks they are a good driver, or quite intelligent. And yet they are probably none of the above.

Within our environment, normal is a state in which we are comfortable and often wish to return to, when something comes in and disturbs us.

Yet, there is no universal normal. And the normal for each of us might be heaven for one and hell for another.

Governments and judicials seek to establish normal for whatever their region or responsibility is. Then they seek to punish those that don’t fit within their definitions. Arrests, removals, and penalties often await those that don’t fit in with their definitions.

It’s why I struggle to buy into the whole concept of pornography, for example. What you might find abhorrent and indecent, I might find totally acceptable. What one country might find barely racy, another might find deserving of imprisonment and 50 lashes.

But my thoughts this morning weren’t so much about different norms across societies or social groups. It was really about the inner feeling we get of something feeling normal to us. And when it doesn’t.

We can be glibly following our own path through our life, when all of a sudden, out of the blue, we get sideswiped by something. Normally it is something bad. We are rarely sideswiped by something good, so typically the happening alters how we are living in a negative context.

So, once the shock of the event is over, we are left with a yearning for normal again. Our normal.

And sometimes, life never returns to the normal we knew and our life establishes a new normal for us. Perhaps we lose a loved one, or find out we have cancer, or lose one of our senses. Invariably these happenings will alter the lives of the most resilient of us. How can they not?

It can be as individual a happening as a personal loss. They say you never really value something (or someone) until you have lost them. The loss can be so profound as to create a different version of us. But at the very least it becomes life-altering.

It can also be as societal as a pandemic. To where almost all our lives are altered irrevocably with masks, vaccines, travel restrictions, and reduced socialization.

I say “almost all” because some people who isolated from the world in the first place; artists, internet-inhabitants, and work-from-home devotees, have been barely altered in their normal.

A couple of years ago, we may have viewed such people as abnormal, fringe-livers, and hermits. Yet now we have all taken several steps closer to their version of normal and away from our own.

So, I guess the final thought that I am trying to share is that whatever your normal is, enjoy it. It will likely change and your life will never feel quite the same.

Somehow, wherever we find ourselves in life is where we are.

Wishing we were somewhere else in place and time is a fools errand.

Striving to make our lot in life better is always a good thing, but being unhappy with where we are is not.

Strange as it may seem, the days we are in now will one day become the good old days for most of us. it’s why I hate taking family pics; we all smile for the camera and then in later years when looking at the old photos, recall how happy we once were.

When Igor was sent out to get a brain from the lab in Young Frankenstein and returned with the one labeled A.B. Normal, who’s to say the person writing the label wasn’t a bit odd. Frankie turned out to be quite a decent human being, at it turned out.

… just a thought.

one day later

then another

and another

and finally