The fading gleam of a streetlight. The lingering scent of a night-flower’s bloom. Shadows against the pavement like petal-pressed pages, marking the way through the dark.

Blues fade to purples as mist drapes hazily through the hills. Purples fade to pinks as morning breaks in silent fracture. Pinks fade to golds and golds to splendor as lava pours forth, in whispers then streams, and the sun flares, a bullet of fire in the sky.

In the streets, houses rest still, occupants lay quiet. But here, in the fields, the earth is sparking hot wires, is gathering glory, is rising from the dead, is churning the universe to life.

Dawn does not wait for witness. It does not halt for praise. Each morning, it dyes the world in unspeakable wonder: whether or not any wake to witness it. Whether or not any care to discover the lessons it has to give, or the secrets hidden in the center of its glowing, pulsating heart.

In this golden hour, even the greatest king exists as nothing but a speck in the face of a swirling cosmos which pays no heed to worldly power, and is deaf to anything but the voice whose “Be” is weightier than millions of words spoken by millions of men whose lives have passed like foam on the waves—one thunder, returned to the sea.

All wants and desires, wishes and yearnings, thoughts of the past and the present—phantoms which catch at the back in the dead of the dark—disappear with the rising sun. Light brings with it patience, and the understanding that there is a valley of rest at the end of this road, yet unseen to your unknowing eyes.

Daylight comes. And you realize that the plans you had made for your life, are nothing compared to the plan which has been made for you. The inhale of your lungs, the beating of your heart, the healing of your wounds seared by tears in the silence of the night—have always been in the hands of a greater power: who shaped you and formed you, who raised you and guarded you, and who, never, not once, not for a fraction of a second, has ever forsaken or forgotten you.

A robin moves, soundless through the meadow. It straightens its shoulders in dignity, and bows its head with grace. Flocks of birds, endless blades of grass, yet its beak reaches with certainty, finding the grain which has been placed there for it, and it alone.

Dawn is a divine time of day.

Why do people keep asking to see
God’s identity papers
when the darkness opening into morning
is more than enough?
Certainly any god might turn away in disgust.
Think of Sheba approaching
the kingdom of Solomon.
Do you think she had to ask,
“Is this the place?”

–Mary Oliver, ‘I Wake Close to Morning’



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