Good morning. I had been working on this Thursday note from Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn this week. Now, as we see Ukrainian news causing anxiety and a feeling of helplessness to help others I don’t want to send it, for the reason of seeming shallow when there is intense fear in the world right now. But, on the other side, I have decided to go ahead. To send words that show the beauty of life within war. The beauty of dawn. Faithful dawn.
This excerpt begins the chapter when Tom and Huckleberry Finn and a friend have run away to become pirates, leaving those at home to believe they have drowned. They are having their first day as outlaws with this being Mark Twain’s description of the world awakening from its silence as Tom observes Nature coming alive. Following Twain’s few paragraphs on Nature’s awakening are quotes on faithful dawn. Always arriving. Regardless of war. Regardless of grief. Regardless of despair. Nature’s gift of hope each morning. Dawn.
“When Tom awoke in the morning, he wondered where he was. He sat up and rubbed his eyes and looked around. Then he comprehended. It was the cool gray dawn, and there was a delicious sense of repose and peace in the deep pervading calm and silence of the woods. Not a leaf stirred; not a sound obtruded upon great Nature’s meditation. Beaded dewdrops stood upon the leaves and grasses. A white layer of ashes covered the fire, and a thin blue breath of smoke rose straight into the air. Joe and Huck still slept.
Now, far away in the woods a birds called; another answered; presently the hammering of a woodpecker was heard. Gradually the cool dim gray of the morning whitened, and as gradually sounds multiplied and life manifested itself. The marvel of Nature shaking off sleep and going to work unfolded itself to the musing boy. A little green worm came crawling over a dewy leaf, lifting two-thirds of his body into the air from time to time and “sniffing around,” then proceeding again – for he was measuring, Tom said; and when the worm approached him, of its own accord, he sat as still as a stone, with his hopes rising and falling, by turns, as the creature still came toward him or seem inclined to go elsewhere; and when at last it considered a painful moment with its curved body in the air and then came decisively down upon Tom’s leg and began a journey over him, his whole heart was glad – for that meant he was going to have a new suit of clothes – without the shadow of a doubt a gaudy piratical uniform. Now a procession of ants appeared, from nowhere in particular, and went about their labors; one struggled manfully by with a dead spider five times as big as itself in its arms, and lugged it straight up a tree-trunk. A brown spotted lady-bug climbed the dizzy height of a grass-blade, and Tom bent down close to it and said, “Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home, your house is on fire, your children’s alone,” and she took wing and went off to see about it – which did not surprise the boy, for he knew of old that this insect was credulous about conflagrations, and he had practiced upon its simplicity more than once. A tumblebug came next, heaving sturdily at its ball, and Tom touched the creature, to see it shut its legs against its body and pretend to be dead. The birds were fairly rioting by this time. A catbird, the Northern mocker, lit in a tree over Tom’s head, and trilled out her imitations of her neighbors in a rapture of enjoyment; then a shrill jay swept down, a flash of blue flame, and stopped on a twig almost within the boy’s reach, cocked his head to one side and eyed the strangers with a consuming curiosity; a gray squirrel and a big fellow of the “fox” kind came scurrying along, sitting up at intervals to inspect and chatter at the boys, for the wild things had probably never seen a human being before an scarcely knew whether to be afraid or not. All Nature was wide awake and stirring, now; long lances of sunlight pierced down through the dense foliage far and near, and a few butterflies came fluttering upon the scene.”
“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.” Oscar Wilde
“And when the dawn comes creeping in, Cautiously I shall raise Myself to watch the daylight win.” D.H. Lawrence
“Our eternal message of hope is that dawn will come.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Night never has the last word. The dawn is always invincible.” Hugh. B. Brown
“Every dawn renews the beginning, and to behold the earth struggling out of the formless void, out of the night, is to witness the act of creation.” Shalem Asch
“Dawn itself is the most neglected masterpiece of the modern world.” R. Murray Schafer
“To watch the dawn emerge from the night undoubtedly gives a heavenly feeling. The fresh sun rays entwine with the dark horizon and peep out of the creek with tranquil grin.” Supiya Kaur Dhaliwal
“All humans realize they are loved when witnessing the dawn; early morning is the triumph of good over evil. Absolved by light we decide to go on.” Rufus Wainwright
Thank you for again letting me enter your Thursday morning. As Nature is just this moment handing us the gift of dawn let us continue to look to the heavens. The promise of a peace that passes understanding is waiting at the glance. Today. Our gift. May tonight we have moments where we stopped specific moments as if they were small grains of sand that we momentarily stopped in a timer. Stopping a few moments to realize that regardless of everything out of our control small moments of the gift of life are always around. Eyes. Memories. Hot coffee. A bird’s song breaking silence. Little squirrels scurrying up a tree that were just kicked out of their nests by their mothers to get energy out of their systems. Realizing under the hard surface of dirt there is life resting and waiting to show us beauty with Spring coming soon. Today. Our gift. As we silently and quietly pray we know that Nature will continually bring us the gift of hope with each faithful dawn. Susan
Latin for this week:
Aurora, diluculo – dawn
Eosphorus – “bringer of dawn” Phosphorus – “bringer, bearer of light”