You know those days when you get up really early and the world is still asleep. Like a visitor in your own locality, you walk across familiar paths watching the dawn mist rise up to reveal a fresh but still familiar view to you’re wondering eyes. Each step you take you seem to drink in the peace of this new fresh landscape. A horse across the field notices you and begins the ambling walk towards you, hoping for some food. I carry apples in my pocket for this moment and after the horse has fed from my outstretched palm I raise my hand to stroke its flank. We are the only beings here and in its trusting warmth I gain a greater sense of who I am.
We seem as visitors in this place, unfeeling of our urgencies, meetings and those pressures which separate us from the slow cycle of life. The sound of the car horn and rush of pedestrians dodging and weaving towards their various tasks and responsibilities seem almost an apparition so quiet is the morning. Soon, the passing hours will change this landscape also, and the bustling impatience of the anxiety fuelled population will mask and hide the slow unveiling of this passing day.
Soon we must return so my partner can get ready for her work but in this period she has gained the peace that still reflection brings. Few words are spoken but our understanding of each other and the world we occupy is freshened by the experience. Approaching our house we spot our neighbour leaving to collect his morning paper. An elderly man with the normal aches and pains of passing years , he remains resolutely cheery and ungrumbelling. His welcome is always rich in kindness, and in his spirit and courage I also take heart against the pressures and anxieties of my daily life. “Beautiful isn’t it” he says, and so it is. In more ways than we know. In this brief period I have glimpsed the tranquillity that so often evades our troubled path through life. Soon I must face the anxieties of the day but in this moment I have glimpsed an almost secret world were the brutalities which so often accompany human experience are nowhere in evidence. In this light sipping life by the minute is one of the sweetest drinks. I am thankful for it.