Today was an early start but I really didn’t mind all that much. Although it was a cold morning, the grey skies and rain that have been a feature of the weather recently were notable for their absence.
Catching up on my emails, over the first welcome cuppa of the day, my study window was the perfect frame for the breaking dawn. A story tale Crescent moon hung, suspended amongst the pale, variegated hues of the dawn sky – muted pink, fading to soft grey and the palest of blues, with just the suggestion of a warm orange glow in the East.
As gradually as the tea being drained from my mug, the sun began to rise, bringing golden tints to the darkened sky. The rich amber orb, the colour of fresh egg yolk, rose behind the starkly bare branches of the winter trees, silhouetting the intricate tracery of their forms, whilst the morning sky grew hazy and bright.
Another window; another picture. As the train passed through the countryside, an ever evolving pattern of light and colour unfolded as I watched. The low sunlight picking out the detail in the fields and meadows passing by.
A river glistened, frosty rooftops sparkled and the grass and hedgerows took on a quiet beauty that, at any other time would have eluded me. Even the towns and industrial parks, bathed in the now brightly shining sun, maintained an almost ethereal quality that dispelled their ugliest qualities, the light catching and burnishing each metallic surface, creating a myriad mirrored reflections.
Somehow the journey didn’t seem as long or as tiring as it normally does… In fact, I’d have happily stayed on the train if the trip had been twice as long. Sadly, work was calling, enjoining me to leave the sanctuary of my seat, merge with the masses on the tube and brave the crush and rush of the London day.
Mornings like today remind me that, even in the midst of the daily grind, early starts and the demands of work and responsibilities, there is more to our world, and life, than our immediate experience. In a world where so often our attention is focused on fear, anger and ugliness, it’s refreshing to be reminded that there’s also a great deal of beauty, peace and tranquillity… We just need to have it brought to our attention now and again.
And therein lies the problem – all too often I find my focus lies elsewhere: I get up, I work, I play, I sleep… And it all happens within my little bubble, where anything else has a hard time getting in. On the odd occasion that I’m able to work from home, for example, it’s quite likely that I’ll sit down in front of a screen from the start, stay in front of the same screen if I take a ‘break’, grab a brief respite for food and then spend the whole evening in front of a screen, writing this blog and ‘escaping’ to SL. A day will have passed without me noticing. The world outside may have come to an end, but I wouldn’t even know it.
Sometimes we need to take a break and be surprised by just how amazing the real world is, or we face the danger of believing that SL really is better… And, the truth is, it isn’t.
Which is why today’s post is not about SL or any of the usual things I tend to write about, because there’s a whole world out there.
And I’d forgotten there was!
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun