There are mornings, beyond understanding, when we wake up and the world that has lately seemed small and brown and drab is suddenly made golden and magical by the sunlight. As I went outside to do the morning thing with the dog, what greated me on a recent morning was this sight at sunrise:
Sometimes the gray, late Fall mornings just steal the life from the morning here on the Flint Hills, but other times, most times, the sun turns haze to a prism and brings the prairie alive. Yes, the picture shows this area of the garden needs some ornamental grasses moved and a better wall to block garden from prairie. And yes, the milk jugs protecting the new rose bands distract from the picture. And, yes, my Marsala Aga statue in the center background looks lonely and small on the greater scale of the garden. But the morning dew has picked up the red tones from the grass and the few evergreens in this view are holding on bravely. And I'm happy that the prairie has chosen to greet me with a smile this morning.
I've often said that Manhattan has the most sunny days of anywhere I've ever lived and somewhere, sometime, I always remember that I heard the number quoted as 330 sunny days a year. However, I confess that I can't find anything near the 330 day figure on an Internet search. According to a USNews report of best places to retire, Manhattan only has 36% (131) sunny days/year. Okay, that site may not be accurate anyway, particularly since it states that the OZ museum is in nearby Lincoln (it's in nearby Wamego, 20 minutes away, and the closest Lincoln is Lincoln, Nebraska at 2.5 hours away). Manhattan is listed as having 127 sunny days/year on an astronomy site, 145 clear days on a Hi-Tunnel Gardening site (126 additional days that are partly cloudy), and 219, 218, or 214 sunny days as listed on various pages of bestplaces.net and finally 218 days on realestate.yahoo.
Who's to say who is right? The low figures seem to count only cloudless days, and since our clouds here are often small and intermittent, the 271 day total listed on the Hi-Tunnel site as having some sun may be closer to our real figure. I don't know where the real answer lies except to say that there seems to be plenty of sunlight here to feed the full value of life and I'm thankful for what each day brings.