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.