by Thomas Dunne
Wake gently from your cleansing sleep. Lie still and quiet before you rise. Take in aurora’s pearly sweep as light is born and darkness dies. This enchanted hour is divinely willed. Let nothing vex what God has stilled and let dawn caress the world awake.
The untrammeled world awaits you. Arise in the midst of this cosmic yawn between dark and light and be the first to leave a footprint in the dew. The stars, once bright, now shimmer and fade, for all of darkness she moves aside. No patch of earth escapes her lade: dawn comes and goes as like the tide.
Submit to this hour as to the sublime. At no other time will you be closer and more connected with the Source – to God. Your sleep has cleansed you from yesterday’s scrapes and smudges. As this new day unfolds, and the glare of the searing sun dissolves the dawn, this immediate and intimate connection will fade; and in the brilliant flash of the sun’s rise, you yourself will necessarily become part of the noisy, clamorous world that seems to spin aimlessly and just enough to keep you occupied but detached from the true peace that can only thrive on the quietness dawn affords.
Your pure and unhurried thoughts are just like dawn’s unfolding: let them range freely in dawn’s conducive element. The world goes soft when veiled in gray. There are no sharp edges in these wee hours; just muffled, unsullied silhouettes and vague outlines of what things may – or may not – become. There is no need for a sharp focus on anything. Dawn is easy on the eyes, easy on the soul, and easy on the senses. In this quietude, your heart and soul thirstily take in the nourishment that will sustain you once the day fully breaks.
Yes! Be a prowler of the dawn, a pilgrim to aurora’s dimly lit sanctum. Whether you are in the city or in the country, walk softly and carry no burden in your morning-tender heart. Your purest thoughts are attuned to the inherent goodness of life. They stir and tremble affinity with this gray-lit hour.
Beneath aurora’s argent shroud, anger and hostility cannot survive; they are unwelcome interlopers that will not – cannot – be allowed. They will attempt to surface but will quickly wither and fade away because there is only goodness and beauty, hence nothing to feed them. Your most enduring and endearing thoughts will be the ones composed, brought forth and whispered within you from the depths of dawn’s truth, and not screamed at you from the sunlit world.
Awaken with this new turn of the earth, slowly and in its time. Your deep and true heart knows the rhythm to move from dark to light, from death to birth. Do not sleep or rush through this hour, for it is too short and too vital. Your every thought is as it should be – a sweet and pure gift given freely. Drink from this wellspring of purity and fill your cup until it overflows. Devour the sweet nectar of nature’s nourishment, for what you ingest now will feed you through the storm and stress of the coming day.
In this silent hour you stand out because it is you, alone, in the midst of a dawning day. Let the sleeping sleep; let the traffic and the hostility and the nervousness remain a part of every yesterday and every tomorrow. You own and guide the nature and destiny of your thoughts, now more than at any other time. When the sun rises, the whole world ‘round awakens and the scrambling madness begins. You have fed yourself from the font of dawn’s magic hour and it will never leave you.
The garish sun now breaks the plane, mounts the horizon, and ascends to its rightful throne. On its heels come the chariots that carry the clang and clamor, and the hustle and bustle of another day. As much as you would like to return to dawn’s gray cover, you cannot. You must now join the mad world and, however unwillingly, contribute to the noise because that is what we all must do and daytime is best suited for this activity. But having walked with the dawn in her quiet and cozy graylight, you are better equipped to endure and thrive in the glare and shine of broad daylight.
As dawn is mother to the day, she knows her time has passed. She rightly grants the sun its rightful place while her calming aspect dissolves and fades away; though she will always becalm those hearts that walked with her in silence.
But on the morrow, her gentle caress will once again initiate the great rhythm of life that will continue as it should, as it must, as it will. Always and forever.
Thomas Dunne lives in Koshkonong, (south central) Wisconsin. He retired in 2019 and spends time writing and walking along the country roads. His essays and stories have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal, Mountain Pilot and Liguorian Magazines.
His poem, My One True Home, won the Merit Award from Arts For All, Wisconsin (2021). YouTube link to this poem being read: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05nbDBq5wzQ
He enjoys playing rockabilly (Jerry Lee Lewis) style piano and writes and records his own Country music.