Sunday, February 27, 2011

Morning Has Broken...

5:56 A.M. Now that we’re sliding into March, the sun is coming up earlier and setting later. Those extra hours of daylight are encouraging the buds on the lilac near my door to swell despite the fact that the eves still drip with an occasional icicle. This morning when I woke, the moon hung in the sky like a diamond pendant. It glittered in the cold, casting long purple shadows across the snow and making yesterday’s icicles shimmer. Along the horizon, the sky was pale, bleached yellow. A low gray cloud lay motionless above the line of trees like a huge, stratocumulus whale basking in the sky.

6:05 A.M. The darkness thins as the part of the earth I stand on turns toward the sun. Dawn always reminds me that nothing is as it seems. It would appear that the sun rises over a flat horizon when, in reality, I am held fast to the surface of a rotating ball that rolls around toward the light. That thought has given me the willies since second grade, when my teacher tried to explain the planets to me. Before I knew about outer space and gravity, I was safe in the center of two bowls, one right side up and filled with earth, the other fitted upside down over me, it’s vaulted insides painted blue. A light switch turned day into night, the blue replaced by a black velvet cloth scattered with stars and a clear, round moon.

6:25 A.M. Sunrise is minutes away and the sky above the horizon has lightened considerably. The cloud has lengthened and its undersides are bathed in crimson. Only minutes ago the moon gleamed behind the trees, but it lies closer to the horizon now and its influence is dimmed by the rising light. I walk from window to window with my mug of tea, sipping and watching the day being born. There is a hush that descends just before the sun actually appears. It is more noticeable in the summer when the birds pause in their early morning serenade long enough for the sun to peek over the edge of the earth. At this time of year, the stillness is more a thing felt than heard. The cloud is bathed in scarlet. Its top turns a deep purple and then suddenly it is pure white, an everyday, ordinary cloud. Through the blaze of color a jet streak turns silver.

6:30 A.M. The great ball of orangey fire looks huge as it rises over the horizon. Moments later it is riding above the trees, yellow as the center of a daisy and no bigger than it ought to be. It is impossible to look at straight on. My eyes see little yellow dots everywhere I look. Sunlight streams through the windows and spills onto the floor. It pierces the sun catcher above the sink and scatters rainbows across my slippered feet.

It’s as though I’ve just watched a theater being readied. The curtains are tied back, the lights are up, and the music has begun. All that I need do is walk onto center stage and begin the day.

12 comments:

Judith said...

Absolutely gorgeous.
You even tempt me to get up at that unearthly hour --- except I know from experience that without your eyes and sensibility and words as a guide --- I'd see very little, and understand less.
Pauline, long may you wave!

Tabor said...

A very Zen view of the morning.

Barbara said...

I find it somewhat curious that we use the word BROKEN to describe something that is so tightly orchestrated which never takes a day off to sleep in or be sick. Enjoy the return of color and sound!

steven said...

pauline - there's a wealth in each lovely moment of your experiencing. thankyou for sharing these moments. i wonder what it would be like to experience an entire day in this way. steven

Brian Miller said...

lovely...thanks for sharing your morning with us...and the peace and beauty that resonates from it...

heres mine:

415 am...alarm goes off and i wonder if its worth it

430 am...in the van, just T and I, driving into the hills, missing my bed, hugging a coffee cup

530 am...stand at the head of the trail and stare up at the mountain

630 am...a mile and some and 3200 feet higher gasping for breath i want to die or just lay down and let the sun find me instead of chasing it, it is starting to peek at me...


650 am...at 3900 feet we crack the thermos...the wind scrapes the sleep from our eyes and exhaustion from our legs...the sun kisses us and all is well with the world..

1051 am...i can not move from the couch but enjoy reading about your morning...lol...

Hilary said...

What a beautiful account of a sunrise. I'm glad I went out walking very early this morning to experience at least the very last of the sunrise. I'd have felt very guilty had I not, after reading this. Your words are always filled with wonder.

Pauline said...

Judith - you make me chuckle. Try it, you'll like it :0

Tabor - I try...

Barbara: There are 122 definitions of break in the dictionary I looked at! I chose #47 - to dawn or spill over - as the one here :)

Steven - as soon as I manage it I'll let you know :)

Brian! You climb mountains at dawn?

Ah Hilary - you are a master of wonder!

patteran said...

How exciting a known experience can be for a reader when described as if the unfolding events are new and thus unanticipated by the writer. This reads so well, Pauline.

deb colarossi said...

This was such a treat..
wow.

and I never tire of watching the sunrise miracle.
or sunset.

Meggie said...

Lovely, hopeful thoughts, at the dawning of another day.

Molly said...

First of all---what are you doing up at 5:58?? Ahhh, I see. That glittering diamond pendant in the sky! But brrrr! 5:58? Shudder...

Marion said...

Ahhh, you've painted such a beautiful portrait of the dawn...with words! I need no photos to imagine your beginning day. It takes a little longer for the sun to appear time-wise here but I experience the same. I love the early dawn...I love this post! Thank you..