Facing the Dawn
Written for my Creative Non-Fiction formative assignment:
I knew then, that this was a moment I would never forget. The orb rose further, coating all that can be seen in morganite, amber, amethyst, ruby. The lonely lifeguard tower gazed out over the waves, each ripple carrying jewelled surf that swelled and crashed, splintering each crystal into a thousand pieces. Fixated on the Spanish Sun as it broke over the horizon, I felt at peace. Beside me, my Stepdad watched just as keenly as I, the shared thought between us that this was worth the 5am waking. We were alone in our observation, or so it felt. Perhaps a million people around the globe were witnessing the Sun announce the new day, while others watch yesterday disintegrate, but in that slice of time it was just us. Our only companions that morning had been the heavy machinery which had cruised the beach, erasing the litter from holidaymakers and restoring the sand back to its intended state of soft powder. But even they had ambled away, leaving us unaccompanied as the sky’s gradient rose from deepest black to the delightful tones of pastel crayons.
It is impossible not to feel at peace in such tranquillity. A rare instant where I felt 100% at ease, my thoughts spanned nothing beyond this scene. Few words were spoken between my Stepdad and me, but none were needed. I knew this would always be the golden thread of closeness between us, an experience shared with no-one but each other. I felt privileged that this man, who had elevated my family to new heights and more importantly, brought serenity into my Mum’s life, would share this with me and show me something to admire. I had suffered, haven’t we all, but he was soothing old wounds by illumination of the great things in this world, far greater than mere humans. So full of knowledge and a calm assurance, I was once more his attentive audience as he wove a patchwork of recollected stories around us, with ski slopes and mountains, grassy meadows and camp fires.
I was in awe. My camera clicked away incessantly as I tried to record the landscape in amazement, in fear that one day my memory may betray me of this moment, the moment I was face to face with the power and wonder of a universe. Behind me lay a country of millions, some raising their heads bleary-eyed to the morning, but in front of me lay only the open sea and then, the universe. The stars that had previously pirouetted now faded away, anticipating their next cue to celebrate the night. Beyond the unbroken line the majestic fire was clawing its way higher, and we were at its mercy. It is absurd of humans to believe we have ultimate control, ultimate supremacy. In reality, we are the smallest insignificant creatures floating on a rock, oblivious to the wonders that grace us every day. It is true that we never fully appreciate something until it is absent from our lives. Sometimes we don’t recognise a diamond when another presents it to us, if only we were to open our eyes. Well, the snapshot in my mind of that new dawn, complete with silver-lined clouds, is perhaps the brightest Crown Jewel of all I that I have.