Her favourite moment of the day. When the first rays of light crossed the horizon, and the world began to wake up.
Just a few seconds away. Toini sat back in her chair and gazed into the east. Arras, the ship’s first mate knew to keep silent, and he too turned to watch. Polly, the cat, ignored them both.
Toini smiled to herself. There might be kittens on board again. It was a hassle and a nuisance, but she loved it all the same. Little crazy fur balls taking their first bumbling steps aboard her ship. In the middle of all the cold hard steel and technology. Kittens.
And then the first ray of sun exploded onto the bridge, drowned them in light, and swept all other thoughts away.
Slowly, her eyes adjusted to the new brightness and she squinted toward the horizon. A tiny pearl of molten glass, just where the bright blue sky met the blackness of the world below, growing slowly wider. A thin sliver of liquid gold, its light spilling out across the world, and pushing the darkness from land.
As the sun grew larger, her light painted the world in the colours of nature. Still muted in the distance, but growing brighter and deeper as morning drew closer. The greens of fields and forests, and the blues of lakes and rivers.
Shadows hid behind hills and mountains, only to shrink and melt away as the sun climbed ever higher in the sky.
Toini realized she’d been holding her breath, and slowly exhaled. Let her shoulders relax and closed her eyes for a moment. The sun had risen again, and all was well with the world. A new day was begun.
Not that she ever doubted the sun would rise, but seeing it was a good reminder of why she did what she did. The world was a beautiful place, and it deserved to be treated with respect.