Dawn is coming later as the year draws to a close. This morning I drove my partner to work at 5.30 as usual… then took a detour to the Beacon at Ivinghoe to watch the dawn. The Whipsnade lion, a massive figure carved into the chalk in 1933, looked eerie in the half light with the mist wraiths floating around the valley. The lion was cut in the manner used for the Uffington Horse, and other hill figures in Britain.
It was freezing. Below the mist, the valley was invisible, wrapped in the ghostly shifting blanket. Above, the air was crisp and cold, the leaves and grasses limned with frost and my breath an echo of the shifting fog below.
I stood alone on the top of the beacon, a solitary hill with ancient barrows sheltering behind it, and watched the rising of the sun. Below the mists the world still slept, or began its day struggling on roads where the visibility was very poor, shrouded in darkness. Here, high above the world, I caught fleeting glimpses of their little lights, illuminating their homes or lighting their way. Yet here I stood, above the mists bathing in the pristine light of dawn. The sun gilded the swirling mist below till it looked like liquid gold and I felt I could have stepped off the hill and danced on the mist.
It came to me how close this was to man's quest for the Light. We spend much of our lives seeking our way blindly, following what little light we can find, yet above us, if we have the courage and commitment to make the climb, the pure, clear Light awaits us, always, whether we perceive it or not from the shrouding mists of normality.
The moment was just that... a moment, a scintilla of time... a Now that was the past as soon as it was born, yet it gave me a glimpse of eternity.
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