Dawn of a New Day *
© Michael Cassity, www.michaelcassity.com, www.michaelcassity.org
As the morning sun spreads its warming light across the mountains and valleys, painting the heavens with crimson and rose and mauve and gold, the dawn heralds the beginning of a new day and calls upon us to reflect on the meanings concealed in the serene and quiet beauty of the sunrise, for this is surely the ultimate well from which hope springs eternal. It is the time when darkness gives way to light, the time when doubt and uncertainty yield to clarity and purpose. It is in the majestic sunrise that the human spirit soars to its loftiest heights. The sunrise is a time of renewal, a time of new beginnings, a moment to savor the second chance that life gives us every day without our noticing it. The soft light and passionate colors give relief to, and make inviting, the challenges of the peaks and valleys of life. The unfolding drama of crisp mountain mornings has the remarkable power to cleanse the earth and the mind of the wrongs of the night and the errant paths of yesterday.
Look again. The most inspiring sunrise is not the one with a clear sky and endless space devoid of clouds. The clouds that at other times signify strife and turmoil, the clouds that summon dark images of tragedy and danger, those clouds are put into their proper light. They give depth and texture to the sunrise just as sacrifice and sorrow give a deeper meaning to, and appreciation of, the joys and pleasures of life.
Ponder the sunrise. Breathe deeply of the fresh morning air. Remember the elemental human needs—the need for beauty, the need to hear a soft voice, the need to be touched and to be held, the need to be assured that life is not, after all, a dead end. Know, once again, that these needs can be met, that life holds the promise of gazing upon the sublime and of realizing complete satisfaction. Savor the beauty and the knowledge that the sunrise reveals.
And look inward. Even the most ordinary sunrise is more beautiful and inspiring than any work created by mortals except for one: the love of people for each other, an ongoing adventure and fulfilling journey that the most magnificent sunrise cannot equal. To find that love and contentment, reach out and share with others what you most want yourself. When you do, and when you do so unconditionally, this will mark the true dawn of a new day, a day illuminated by the eternal smile of a gentle, radiant sun and warmed by the touch of another’s hand.
* Although I first wrote this prose poem some years back and although it has gone through several versions, it was first published in Myra Klahr, ed., What Is Inside Shines Out (Tecate, Mexico: Rancho La Puerta, 2013). It has evolved and it will probably continue to evolve as I return to it now and then. MC