In the Still of the Morning

Wednesday 28th March

Now that the clocks have been forced forward in their relentless search for sunshine and the evenings are lighter earlier, the corollary is that the mornings are darker again.  Suddenly we are slung back into a touch of winter in the shape of darker mornings.  And you have to get up even earlier to really appreciate it.  Instead of my usual six-thirty to seven I have been rising at five forty-five.  This was a conscious decision, not a result of sleeplessness or some temporary insanity I can assure you – I wanted to see the sun rising again.  So I was up at that ungodly hour, which in old money was way before five even, and quickly dressing and foregoing my favourite and first tea of the day I was out of the door.  The temperature was not as cold as I had feared; the skies have been quite clear for days now, not a cloud to hide the blushes of the night, and I had expected it to be really cold, but although chilly it was remarkably mild.  And still – the very air seemed frozen, as if the wind had forgotten its duty to blow.  Hardly anyone was about at all, a couple of taxi’s still trawling the deserted streets and early morning delivery vans but no pedestrians at all.  In a moment I was in the park and here the light was just opening out, the sky a deep indigo brightening gently towards the land.  No birds were singing and no squirrels scampering as if a hush had come upon the land, I walked over to the lake, usually bustling with ducks, moorhen and a solitary swan, but here all was quiet too, the surface of the water an oily greeny-black, lurking and waiting for the sun.  The darkness was lifting quite quickly and soon the sky was a bright blue and the crescent moon just visible but the myriad stars were fast fading in the light of day.  There were too many trees to get a good view of the sun, but the light was perceptibly filling the sky and then there in-between the trees was the sun itself, large and bold and golden flickering through the branches.  Then I started to hear the birds start singing, a couple of dogs barking on their early morning walk, and the incessant hum of traffic resumed its background mumble.  Gone was the beautiful still of the morning; but for a few moments it had been so quiet that one could almost imagine the world itself had paused for a moment in its tracks, just a small hesitant pause, hardly a moment at all, before resuming its eons old journey through the day.