There are mornings where there is such a sense of peace and tranquility – where the magpies forage in the grass making their soft trilling like bells made of glass and the wind smells like eucalyptus – that the world feels like a good place to be.
Such a morning is a hopeful morning.
I hated Australia when I first moved here.
Hated it. I told everyone so. I was 12 years old and uprooted from everything I knew, so my reaction wasn’t surprising.
For years I stubbornly and deliberately raged against living in Australia. I was determined not to like it. I was determined not to love it.
But one thing got me, pulled me into that place that is like a symphony starting up and you can block your ears as much as you want but the notes, the beautiful notes slip between your fingers and into your ears and into your heart. That thing, that one extraordinary thing is the landscape.
It lures me, it beguiles me, it bewitches me. It whispers around corners and under doors: Home. Home.
Home and the morning light.
I used to be in a writer’s group. Technically, I still am but it is actually more like a therapy group now. We used to number almost twenty members. Now we are five. What has happened over the years is that we talk less about writing and more about what informs our writing. Our anxieties come up. Our fears. Our worries for the future.
And our hopes.
We were talking about hope the other day and I mentioned the morning light and the way I equate it with hope. And how that hopeful morning light made me fall in love with Australia. When the light is full of hope there is a certain slant to it. It is a little bit dazzling like sunlight on water. It is a little bit muted like the gleam cast from specks under trees.
But it remains.
When the sun has changed position and the noises of the day have settled in, the light you see out of the window is different but in your head it is still there. When you think of what lies ahead, what the day has to bring there is still light in your head, in your heart.
When I brought this up at the group there was a cry of recognition. The light of hope. We all saw it. Even when we closed our eyes. When we thought of the length and breadth of our days, the hopeful ones were framed in light.
When our worries and anxieties overtook us we still saw the morning light but it did not stay with us. It left our heads and our hearts and the shadows set in.
Losing that light was as sobering and sad as seeing trees cut down for apartments or parking lots. It was like saying goodbye to the joy in the world.
But even on the darkest of days the magpies trill. The eucalyptus rises. And the soft light of possibility covers the ground.
The morning light. As if the air has turned to silk.
Yes! Yes! I know that light! I know that feeling! Pardon my excitement, but to have those feelings I’ve tried to explain expressed so perfectly, it’s almost a relief. I love those magical mornings. They allow me to feel very connected to the Earth.
There is a courtyard where I work, and no matter the season, I can feel a sense of awe, reverence, peace, and strength coming from it. When I mentioned how much I love that courtyard to a co-worker, she said, “Yes! I know exactly what you mean!” We’ve both tried to capture that character on camera, but it eludes the shutter like a wisps of mist in the morning.
Oh, and I’m also part of a writer’s group that went from several down to two, and it’s one of the best things in my life. Spending time with someone who “gets it” mends a lot of tears the weary world around us can leave in our souls.
I love the morning light, its ‘ethereal-ness.’ It’s a hopeful time for me too my friend. This is a wonderful tribute to it.
I know that light, too. And this made me remember to look for it.
It must of been so very hard for you to be up rooted from everything that you knew, especially your friends that you must of left behind, 12 is an awkward age for such a big change in your life, but I’m sure it wouldn’t of taken long to make new friends, and get into new adventures.
The landscapes are beautiful here in OZ, so many different type of animals as well that live in those picturesque places.
I’m so glad you get it. I knew you would. It is difficult to explain, isn’t it? It is as if the light gathers and is full of some kind of positive force that restores us. That light has sustained me many a time.
The pared down writers groups are the best ones, I suspect. We talk more about life than writing and that is good because we are all coming from a similar place. It is really cool!
Ethereal. That’s the word I missed. Of course. Such a beautiful word. Glimmery and shimmery. Like fairy wings….
Hi MAMA ZEN:
I am so glad you know it. I hope it is outside your window in the morning 😀
It was hard. For the longest time I felt I didn’t fit in but that was probably my innate stubborness more than anything. Haha.
I do love the landscape in Australia. It is quite unique. Harsh in many ways but also very beautiful. It certainly feels like home.
I still feel I don’t quite fit in here. Interestingly, I battle with the landscape: I miss the typical shade of green of England with a fierce ache sometimes (and I’m not English; I got that rush of “Home!” when I went there, as if I recognised it on a cellular level).
Maybe one day it will click for me here too.
“the morning light and the way I equate it with hope”
I feel the same way. It’s like as each new day begins there are endless possibilities. And, I’m always excited to see what the day will bring.
Beautifully told. Having felt ‘away from home’ no matter where I was allowed me to experience many such lights that fell on different portions of the land and water to stir a primal feeling that it’s not about where but about then. I love your story. And surely, hope is the finest thing.
I felt myeslf lift from with as I read this, just Beautiful.
I am happy that you now love Australia, though I am sure you still have a deep attachment for your first home. Yes, the light is something I love (especially in the afternoon, and the morning) and wish that time would stop so I could hang on to that light for a little longer each day – today is one of those wonderful days where the weather is perfect and the light just right 🙂
Home, what a lovely word that is. And sometimes, home is not where we want it to be for a while but the right place to be home, always returns. And sometimes, that place just happens to be where we ended up, right now. And yes, the light…it keeps us moving forward and through the darkest days, onward and upward!
oh yes the hopeful slant of that morning light..
I miss England too which is interesting considering I have never lived there. I think it’s all the books I read as a child which were set there. They have influenced me so much. All that green and verdant land really gets to me. I hope it clicks for you here one day too. It is a nice feeling when it happens!
Oh me too. You just never know what’s in store, do you? Those possibilities keep me going.
It is a primal feeling. There is something mystical and inexplicable about it. And hope. Dearest hope. It can’t get much finer than that!
You are so sweet. What a lovely thing to say!
Oh I would love to hang on to it too. It is just such a wonderful sight. Gets me every time.
It’s true what you say. I have lived in a few places where I didn’t think it was home but afterwards it turned out to be exactly that. And the light does keep us moving forward. Thank God for it!
Hi CRAFTY GREEN:
Oh yes. Sustains me many a time!
‘where the magpies forage in the grass making their soft trilling like bells made of glass and the wind smells like eucalyptus’ What a wonderful description!
Another one of your glorious pieces of writing that makes me sit and smile. 🙂
And you have made me smile by saying that. Thank you so much 😀 😀 😀
Sel, that’s exactly it: the books I read as a child. I totally “escaped” into those worlds and they were so English.
Oh, me too. It was fabulous, wasn’t it? All those woods and meadows and badgers and boarding schools. Brilliant stuff!