The seasons are shifting. The days are getting shorter. Sometimes, when I wake up, the rosy fingers of dawn are just starting to caress the morning sky. The air is cool and sweet. It smells of dew and reminds me of mysterious things. I linger by a window sometimes, enjoying the silent serenity. Then the neighbour’s dog barks. The spell is broken.
In those few moments that I spend with the dawn, gazing at the valley and fields, the retreating darkness fools me into thinking that nothing much has changed over the years, that the view outside my window is the same now as it was fifty years ago, five hundred years ago. But as I turn to face the day, reality comes flooding back. We live in a horrible world. Ebola, ISIS, tension in Ukraine, famine, murder, child abuse … my mind reels from the sickening brutality of it all. I want to return to my window. To that moment of peace, before the harsh light of day thrusts the unpalatable truth into the spotlight.
The tides are shifting and we are being carried along with them. The outcome may be bleak. Or we might rise above the chaos and witness humanity’s finest hour. That is what I want to believe. Maybe it’s what we all need to believe.
It’s a scary world out there and I try not to dwell on it too much. After all, our collective destiny is very rarely in our hands. When people woke up, on that fateful June day one hundred years ago, they were blissfully unaware that a murder in Sarajevo would plunge the world into war not once, but twice. In the grand scheme of things, we are but pawns in history’s game of chess.
Yes, the tides are shifting, but tomorrow the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west. The dew will lie heavy on the leaves and will luminesce like pearls, before the warmth of the sun will make it rise like a wraith to the blue skies above. The last cricket will sing and the waves will hug the shore as they have done for thousands of years. Life will go on.
Tide-out, St Ives, Cornwall ~ July 2012