On these spring mornings, I love the dawn more than ever. I stumble, bleary-eyed, into the kitchen searching for tea bags and milk. I think it’s too early, I think it’s still dark, and then I catch sight of the sky through a gap in the canopy. That sky … on a clear day, so blue-grey-white that it looks cold … and that pink light, so faint, above the mountains, fading to the palest of yellows, and melting into the great cold expanse above.
I love the sunrise. The silence before anyone else is awake, the way the sky is perfect, the promise that maybe today will be perfect, too. The total and complete awe I feel when I look at that empty sky. I have seen sunrises in Devon, in Crete, in the Australian Outback – and the sense of awe is always there. One tiny person in a great big universe.
Waking up to the sunrise is amazing, but already being awake is something else. I used to live by the sea. I loved coming out of a bar on the seafront at 5 am, half-drunk on snakebite-and-black and lack of sleep, and watching the sun rise over the water. It’s like seeing a miracle unfolding before your eyes: the whole world is dark and then it fills with light. Every single morning.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the light through the shitstorm in your mind. I know because I’ve been there. There were many days when I stared at the sunrise without feeling a thing – I knew it was beautiful, but I couldn’t feel it. But there have also been many more days when I looked up at the sky and my stomach twisted inside me because of the beauty and wonder and magic of the moment.
Don’t let that magic pass you by. Get up, go outside, and watch the dawn breaking. You will find a place inside yourself that you didn’t know existed. For a few seconds, you will feel like a hero, a goddess, a giant … and yet, at the same time, you will feel insignificant. A grain of sand in the desert, a drop of water in the ocean, a brief life in the billions of years that our planet has existed.
You need both of these feelings to begin again. You need to feel insignificant to give yourself the determination to make your tiny life count for something. You need to feel like a hero to make yourself believe that you are strong enough to make your dreams come true.
I am beginning again. I am coming back to life. But before I continue my journey, I want to go back over the events that changed me and brought me to this place. I guess it’s a kind of 21st century therapy – putting your personal experiences online for complete strangers to read. I’m quite a private person and, to be honest, this idea makes me more than a little nervous! But my hope is that, maybe, someone will relate to my story, or a part of it, and they will find courage, or reassurance, or even inspiration in the fact that I found my way out of the darkness and into the light of living and loving life fully.
Images from Pixabay.