I recently discovered this website: http://www.sarahselecky.com/ offering daily writing prompts. My first prompt? Describe a memorable sunrise without using the words ‘sun’ or ‘sky’. The fact that I penned the following in response to this writing prompt is my rather tenuous excuse for sharing it on here!
At the end of May 2013 I took part in a non stop charity walk from London to Brighton, and as a result found myself passing the hours of darkness out in the Southern English countryside. May nights are short in Northern Europe, but this one was long enough for me to question my sanity more than once. I was accompanied by two friends; but, like me, they were cold, tired and quiet, so the night walk was a lonely experience. Curtains closed and lights went off in houses we passed as sensible folk bedded down for the night, which only served to enhance the feeling of isolation. While most of England slept, we walked on through the night. Heads down, not talking, not thinking, resolutely ignoring sudden noises from unseen nocturnal creatures, we carried on putting one foot in front of the other as the hours passed.
Almost imperceptibly things began to change. Heralded by a cockerel crowing, the significance of which took a while to sink into my numb brain, the first glimmer of light appeared. Shadows were no longer dense, trees ceased to be huge silhouettes and became trees once more, colours reappeared. Early morning mist rose from the meadows all around us, and wispy pink clouds stretched out across the many shades of blue above. Nature didn’t wake up with a yawn and set its alarm clock to snooze for ten minutes. The birds were on the case in an instant, each adding a jubilant song to the dawn chorus. Flowers opened their petals, anticipating what was to come, and a group of deer ran across our path, over a misty field and into the woodland beyond. My friends and I gazed all around us, mouths open in wonder as we witnessed one of the most amazing moments of our lives.
Then, without further ado, we were bathed in glorious light. Day had sent the solitude of night packing. The birds celebrated. The flowers celebrated. We celebrated. All the sensible folk tucked up in their beds slept on, oblivious to the fact that three friends were walking to Brighton, surrounded by a show far more spectacular than any the West End has to offer.