Friday, February 06, 2009

JOURNAL: The Light of Early Morning

The light of early morning is not the same as the light at twilight. It is rather weak and submissive. It is not overpowering. The sun – a star of some repute – dreams the day. That is the only explanation for why the light in early morning is so special, why doves moan in it, why skunks and possum hunt for grubs in the watery dark. It is a light that holds all matter in suspension.

The quiet lonesomeness of this light differs so much from twilight. I can’t deny the promise I feel in it; its potential is horizon-less. Overhead, on clear nights, stars play in a molasses field. Then the black begins to drain into gray and then a drawn pale blue. Soon – and especially in the colder months – planes overhead leave crossing jet streams that look like stitchery. In the infant sky, it looks like the tracery of crystallized water as it freezes.

When that oversized orange ball, plump and vulnerable, elbows its way over the line of the horizon, for a moment I am breathless. I spend so much of my waking day looking for goodness everywhere only to stumble on it, groggy and undeserving, find it unexpectedly in the confessional of this fresh squeezed sunlight. I am made foolish. I am turned dumb as to what is good and holy. I am dumb to evil. I am reduced to something subatomic, seeking an orbit around something else, something material all while my life is held up to me as something ridiculous, made tender by the gentle morning light.

This is a prayer. Prayer is not an invocation of some higher power. It is not a laundry list of wants or needs. It is not words at all. It is perspective shift. It is first shall be last and last shall be first. It is the rich becoming poor and the poor ascending to wealth. It is me, this creature of certitude turned back into the dust that was spirit first breathed into nostrils a million million years ago.

The light of early morning is not overpowering. It is subtle. It is small. It shaves off the rough edges of me. It pulls me inside out and exposes me and for this reason I feel we must all greet the morning alone.

The light of early morning like harbor lights leads me home. Like the sand and ocean, it speaks of home to me. It is fresh every time and cannot be drawn or photographed properly. Like the face of God, one cannot look directly into its face but not out of fear of dying, but rather out of fear of not recognizing it for what it truly is: a sweet song, a papery touch of a lover, the favorite smell of my baby’s fresh washed hair. All these things pin me down and hold me motionless and here is where I know God to be.


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