Wednesday, 1 February 2012


I woke to the Possum's cries and tucked him back into bed and held his hand until the soft, rhythmic breathing filled the darkness. As I walked back into my room, through the open curtains the first blush of dawn was gilding the sky and the first bird of the morning was practicing scales. It was barely 4am and for the first morning in some time, I sat and watched the sun rise. Beautiful, brilliant and golden, unhidden by stormy clouds.

For weeks now I have thrilled on waking to the sound of rain on the roof, the lullaby that gently sings and caresses and snuggled down into my blankets and pillows. The grey softness of morning and the cool breath of a day without sun. I have gloried in splashing in puddles and the smell of rain on the grass. Watched it sluice off the window panes and heard the swish of tyres.

There is a consciousness now, when the rain is heavy and constant, of the destruction it can bring. Where the lake over the playing field where the ibises play is no longer as benign as it was before a year ago, when such a sight would only have brought smiles at the ephemeral water hole and the reflections of the sky. A curling snake of anxiety in my belly when I see mud and a catch in my breath when the rain is so heavy that I cannot see.

I would not describe myself as a morning person. I love sleep so indecently that it is often hard to jump out of bed at first light. Morning has not the inky magic of twilight nor the star spangled beauty of night. In Summer, mornings are quickly hot and steamy, overnight dew misting in the light and the glow and temper of heat. For years, the only sunrises I saw were when I had fought the break of dawn, not wanting a night to end, as it danced irreverantly on the bounds of reality.

When I was feeding the Possum, often I would be awake at fist light, curled up on the couch and feeling the first light hit my face. The world was always so new then. The terrible night would have disappeared and ti was a whole new day that caressed my cheek and warmed it as the birds carrolled. I learned to appreciate dawn. To marvel in its newness and its vulgarity and its naivete. Morning will never be as sophisticated as night, but it is so sweet. So charming. So artless. It is impossible not to be affected.

As I watched the dawn this morning, felt the light permeate the room and all the way through my skin, and wished I was more of a morning person, that jumped out of bed before dawn and welcomed the new day. When I was on holidays my favourite part of the morning was the first half hour by myself, a delicate witching hour where a whole day was to be filled with wonderful things and the absolute desparation to go out and start experiencing them.

Because no matter the day before, tomorrow is always perfect in the morning.

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