This morning I watched the dawn. The promise of a new day lit up the few clouds with orange and salmon-pink.
I am grateful for this gift of beauty, feeling as if it was meant for me alone.
Timely, then, that I should be reading these words from poet Walt Whitman:
“Dazzling and tremendous how quickly the sunrise would kill me, if I could not now and always send sunrise out of me.”*
Whitman spoke of the two phases of the artist’s labour as sympathy and pride: breathing in and breathing out. The poet inhales, being sympathetic to the dawn, but then must exhale, if he is to live. Asserting himself, then, he shares himself with others – the poet’s pride.
With gratitude, we receive our gift of this dawn, this new day, and find we cannot hold it within ourselves, we cannot hold our breath. We must exhale, offer something out, and this something is different to what we inhaled. We have made more of it, we have generated something new.
I thought the dawn would soon be over and give way to the day, but it continued for most of an hour. Perhaps at this time of year the dawns are slow. And then, oh my.
The brightest white light completed this beginning.
So I am wondering. Do those who awaken more slowly to what they are able to give out to others bring the brightest light?
(*Walt Whitman, quoted in Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)