Run to the Hills – 5 : Sunrise on the garden

Just across the road from Mystic is a charming cottage. Its wide wrap-around porch – just perfect for big armchairs- and little garden would have made it pretty anywhere, but its location – at the point where the hill falls off – gives it a 100+ degree view of the surrounding hills and elevates it to spectacular. In a brief exploration the previous day I had found a set of steps leading away from the cottage which were quite perfect in themselves. There they were going down the hillside edged with pretty mountain flowers looking incredibly like they were the way paradise. (Its much more likely that they were leading to someone’s loo but I wasn’t going to investigate.)

Anyway, when the light and the birds work me up on Saturday morning I decided to head across the road to see how the way to paradise looked in the morning. (All ppl who are thinking shit reading this – Stop Thinking.)  R was still dead to the world so I tried my best to leave tippy-toe. It was bright out but the light had this unusual, gentle and diffused quality. I shivered a bit in my PJ’s – it was the shiver of muscles waking up – not the teeth chattering, extremity numbing cold one would have expected after the rain of the previous day. The white wooden gate leading to the cottage was closed and it took some effort to open it wide enough so I could slip through. I walked down the path, reached the steps and only then did I realise why the light had that peculiar feel – the sun was not over the horizon yet. The icing on the cake – the steps were east facing and quite the perfect place to view the show!

The previous day R and I had peered and peered at the view from the PWD to try and distinguish the mountain ranges. Today, I could see what we had missed. Far into the distance, higher than any of the gentler hills I could see, there rose a jagged line of peaks clearly silhoutted against the sky. A juicy orange sun was beginning its journey up and at the moment of my arrival had just begun to show through between two of the peaks. The birdsong began to sound like a well rehearsed choir. At this point I could describe what went through my head – I understood the word aubade (really understood it) and about 5 minutes into the wonder of watching the sunrise, thought – 'for astronomy to have happened some chap might have sat here and thought, “hmm.. given the angle at which this is rising and the angle at which that rises if I use whatever trigonometric formula can I not plot path etc etc” and then I wondered – “What kind of cold mind could do that when faced with such beauty?”

Even now, writing this a good 10 days after the fact, when I think of the 15 mins of sunrise a feeling of… I can’t circumscribe it to one word actually. Is it joy, peace, a sense of the grandeur of it all?… Whatever the word for it… a quiet mellow warmth settles in my heart and makes me glad to be alive.

It’s a little past sunrise as I finish writing this – the 11th day anniversary of that sunrise, so to say. I now can’t resist the urge to indulge in some (more!) bathos. In some cultures I could name that sunrise today. Suggestions anyone?


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