The world is dusted in charcoal, smudged and blended into indeterminate shapes. I stand with bare feet on Mother Earth, toes scrunching into the cool damp grass of a late summer dawn while I await the Light. Slowly I draw in a breath, deep, slow and sweetly scented with the faint smell of drying leaves and I taste the coming fall as the breath moves from my head to my feet, into every muscle, every cell of my body. Somewhere overhead the wild songs of geese echo in the distant darkness, making my heart wanting to follow, but my toes remind me for this minute in time I must remain still to center in balance, in harmony. Like the dawn.
On the third breath, charcoal turns to a midnight amethyst, precious and rare, and I feel Grandmother Maple, her roots are beneath my feet, her limbs crowning my head. I feel her presence rather than see her; I close my eyes and know that I, in this moment, am part of her and she part of me. My eyes drift open and other colors have made themselves known as the dawn slips closer, the sky deep blue, the stars have retreated, the east erasing the night with the promise of sun. I am centered. I feel the pulse of Mother Earth tap against my feet, I am connected to her, the sky and I blended, there is no border between myself and the air I am breathing, no difference between Cardinal in the branches above and my Spirit and as dawn brings clarity to the world, it brings clarity to my Being.
The east is born in oranges and pinks, painting the earth in greens and browns. I wait in patient anticipation and look to the very top of the crown on Grandmother Maple just as the rising sun kisses her uppermost leaves. The day is born.
As the sun spreads across my body I am also born. I have touched every leaf, caressed each blade of grass. I have breathed in every scent the windless air has brought to me and rolled every taste patiently over my tongue. And as that first kiss of the rising sun reaches me, I bloom. I am part of everything and everything is part of me. I am standing in The Light. We are one.
While I am in my physical body, there will never be a moment more perfect than this.
In this oneness, in this balance, I begin my day. Whatever next I do will keep me in this space or pull me out of harmony. More times than I would like, I am pulled out - by my own doing. There is no one to blame, no matter what is said to me, no matter who does what to me, no matter what I see as my day unfolds. I am responsible for keeping my balance, my harmony intact.
But if I fail today, and I often do, I can begin anew tomorrow. And with the new day I can once again try to master being a better person than the day before.
That is the true beauty of a sunrise.