Smack the alarm clock, struggle out of bed and head for the summit of Cadillac Mountain early enough, and you too can be among the very first people to greet the new day dawning on these United States. That's the theory anyway.
As I drive up a winding park road, a thin ribbon of rose light kisses the clouds. A vast puzzle of islands and the Atlantic spreads out to the east. My more immediate foreground is soon filled with parked cars and chattering, shivering tourists. Couples cuddle up close, wrapped in blankets against the cold wind, and pretty much everyone is thinking about the warm bed they've so recently left. For no discernible reason, some jackass is wearing moose antlers.
People stand watching as the color fades from the sky. Clouds roll in like disappointment and someone finally mutters, "Dude, it's definitely getting darker."
It dawns on pretty much everyone that it's not happening today. Still dazed from the early hour, we shuffle back to the parking lot and make our way back down the mountainside to embrace the new day, however gray.