Two dawns

by DRM


The rainbow is gone now — just a matter of minutes, two sips of coffee. The light is gone also. At this hour, the sun sits low on the horizon and sneaks into the yard as it passes above the house and trees, which eclipse the lawn and lush growth below the house. The quality of light has dimmed, like a passing mood; the tops of the higher trees are lighter in color, a mark of the sun’s progress, but the reverse illumination of the rainbow’s glow is lost. Clouds are easing in. A hurricane passed a few hundred miles off shore yesterday.

Reverse light must have been a signal to other men of a sacred, magical event. The illumination is illogical: the sun is in one quadrant of the sky, yet an apparition casts light from another quadrant. What is that, if not magical, a sign from the Gods.


When I woke up, the dawn had broken and the full moon hung low on the western horizon. I can’t see it now as I sit on the couch on the porch. Clouds have drifted over it, a flat line of inky blue-grey clouds that move slowly to the Northwest. The trees would block the moon if the clouds weren’t there, but at least I would see the reflection of the moon’s strong light.

The August moon is an apogee of the celestial orbit, sitting close and familiar to the earth. The annual visit marks a change in the rhythm of life, the flourish of slowing down, of living things adjusting their cycle to prepare for the meager sustenance of winter, the declining light.

A beautiful moment in the morning. The tops of the clouds are illuminated by the sun reaching the dawn horizon. The beams are two-dimensional at first, lacking the perspective they will gradually gain as the sun follows its arc into the sky. The illumination gradually transforms. The inky blue-grey gives way to tinges of pink and a sheer blue that flattens out the sky.

The dawn is soft and compelling at this place, not the sunset. At dusk, the hollow loses light and falls deep away; the sunset flattens out and obscures. Dawn is gentle. The sun makes its way into the sky, brushing away the muted colors, drawing out the strong hues of the day.