We woke to clear skies…and heavy frost. Our after-dinner walk the night before had seen us wandering the deep, unlit blackness of the shore, watching the colours of the stars in the cloudless night. The temperature had dropped dramatically, so the pre-dawn frost was no surprise. Nor was it any surprise at all that two of us were already up and out, long before our companions and the sun were due to rise, walking the coastal path as far as we dared in the time before breakfast.
There is something magical in being abroad to greet the rising of the sun, something that speaks to the soul and feeds it silently as the light slowly floods the sky, painting it in pastels and gold. Behind the sacred mountain to the west, a soft rainbow of colour marked the fleeing edge of night as we walked through the ice-crisp grass. The curve of the receding tide left marks upon virgin sand as free of footprints as before the time of Man, a reminder of the fleeting nature of our presence within Nature.
It was still early. No-one else seemed to be out, not even the gulls whose incessant, eldritch cries tug at the heartstrings all day. We had the world to ourselves, it seemed, witnesses to the daily miracle of dawn. It makes you wonder, every time. But we were not simply observers… we too were part of that moment, feeling the cold upon our fingers and cheeks, aware of the ever-changing light and the ceaseless motion of the sea.
To dance to the rhythm of the sun, to rise with its light and see its passing every day, echoes a greater purpose than our preoccupation with the daily needs of survival. To feel part of such beauty is to remember ourselves within a greater context than that of roles and labels, as part of the earth’s own dance and infinite variation of form.
The world around us teaches of the journey we all take, day to day and year on year. The gift of a quiet Sunday dawn is a perfect moment, undisturbed by noise and the demands of a busy world. To watch the shadows soften as golden light bathes them and watch the movement of the waters is to reflect upon our own voyage of endless change and our inevitable movement from unknowing to understanding.
We walked until the sun crested the rooftops, gilding the morning in a brief burst of glory before turning back. The rocks and the little pools they held were full of ice, yet the sky above the sleeping town was aflame. There is an intimacy in such moments that is a beautiful illusion, that makes you feel as if this is the first dawn the world has ever seen, and yours the first eyes to see it.
Illusion it may be… but this dawn has never happened before and will never happen again…and you are there, part of that moment. I see the sun rise almost every morning through my window. We watch the dawn whenever we can… and it never loses its magic nor do we lose the breathless sense of awe that it inspires. Every time. We headed back to the hotel to meet our companions for breakfast… but we had already broken our fast on beauty.