I woke up this morning a while before my alarm.
It was 6:45 a.m., a time I would normally just fall back to sleep, not wanting to wake before 7:00 a.m. However, the sun was just beginning to rise: the early dawn light outside blue and cool, bright enough to welcome me. I perked up. Then I spotted the first lick of yellow/orange/gold on a tree across the street.
As the sun rose, the liquid richness dripped down the trunk of the tree. Then other trees slid in to the scene, first forward of this one, then back, until both those across the street and those right in front of my window were all lit from a sideways/back angle that made their right sides shine as if gilded. My eyes transfixed, I waited to see what would light up next.
And then it hit me.
While the sun does not rise visibly every day, it does rise every day. This is ordinary. This is usual, expected. It is also miraculous, magical and gorgeous.
I swear that in the ten years I have lived in this house I have never, ever seen such beauty in those trees.
The dreary late February drab of broken bare branches fell away. The same world, the same window I look out of every morning, the same sun. And also, not. Never the same. I started to wonder: which trees are the real trees? Which experience is reality? Then I got lost again, blissfully, in the sheer joy of looking.
I hope that I won’t forget this experience. I know it will be in my body, and now in some words. However, writing it hours later, it has faded a bit already. I have digested some of it.
Here’s one lesson I could take from this: I could cling to it, hoping to see that specific magic again, get up morning after morning to never see that scene repeat. My magical less-than-half-an-hour would become something for which I wax nostalgic.
However, I can learn a different lesson. Keep my eyes, all my senses and mind open. Allow myself chances to slow down, to not talk, to simply notice.
Let magic slip in through the in-between moments.
The gold slowly turned whiter until the world softened, encased in platinum.
I got out of bed, the birds calling outside and breaking my silent reverie, a cardinal landed right on the branch directly in front of me. He wagged his tail up and down, looked right into my eyes.
Yes. I got it. I saw the sunrise, and you, too. If I keep looking, I will keep seeing, keep noticing these totally unique and ordinary miracles that happen constantly, even if momentarily, without ever repeating their form.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman