THE MYSTERY OF FRIENDSHIP
LIGHT IS GENEROUS
If you have ever had occasion to be out early in the morning before the dawn breaks, you will have noticed that the darkest time of night is immediately before dawn. The darkness deepens and becomes more anonymous. If you had never been to the world and never known what a day was, you couldn’t possibly imagine how the darkness breaks, how the mystery and colour of a new day arrives. Light is incredibly generous, but also gentle. When you attend to the way the dawn comes, you learn how light can coax the dark. The first fingers of light appear on the horizon; ever so deftly and gradually, they pull the mantle of darkness away from the world. Quietly, before you is the mystery of a new dawn, the new day. Emerson said: ‘No-one suspects the days to be gods.’ It is one of the tragedies of modern culture that we have lost touch with these primal thresholds of nature. The urbanization of modern life has succeeded in exiling us from this fecund kinship with our mother earth. Fashioned from the earth, we are souls in clay form. We need to remain in rhythm with our inner clay voice and longing. Yet this voice is no longer audible in the modern world. We are not even aware of our loss, consequently, the pain of our spiritual exile is more intense in being largely unintelligible.
The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Night-time is womb-time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression fall away. We rest in the night. The dawn is a refreshing time, a time of possibility and promise. All the elements of nature: stones, fields, rivers and animals are suddenly there anew in the fresh dawn light. Just as darkness brings rest and release, so the dawn brings awakening and renewal. In our mediocrity and distraction, we forget that we are privileged to live in a wondrous universe. Each day, the dawn unveils the mystery of this universe. Dawn is the ultimate surprise; it awakens us to the immense ‘thereness’ of nature. The wonderful subtle colour of the universe arises to clothe everything. This is captured in the phrase from William Blake: ‘Colours are the wounds of light.’ Colours bring out the depth of secret presence at the heart of nature.