This is something that I wrote one spring day as the days were lengthening in preparation for the long summer days and short summer nights. It is rather random and maybe a bit strange but bear with me and you may just see what I mean.
Sunrise is a peculiar thing, at least that’s how it seems living amongst hill, it seems to happen in the opposite direction to that which your brain thinks it should. Strange statement yes, but sitting in bed at dawn with an early tea I can view trees from my window, looking west with the sun behind me, a lovely view you may think and yes it is, as the sunlight reveals hidden nature, the oaks now clothed in small sculptured leaves and tiny tasselled flowers, the fat bursting buds of the ash and drooping splayed hands of sycamore. The thick dark green ivy becoming shining and reflective whilst grey perched shapes are being transformed into plump pink breasted pigeons and a single round beige feathered ball becomes a sandy and bronze coloured very rotund madam pheasant roosting upon a high branch, although as she warms we see that the rotundness is all an illusion and with feathers flattened and tidied she becomes just another rather skinny bird! So to the point of the reverse image, one would assume that as the sun rose it would flood light upwards across the land and up into the sky and at dusk as it sank again everything would darken from the sky downwards leaving the land last to glow. Whilst this is certainly so for the sky, on careful thought it would seem that this would only be so if the land was completely flat, or at least flatter than Sussex, indeed whilst staying on the Somerset levels recently the sunrise did in fact begin at meadow level. However, as we, here amongst the Sussex Downs, are surrounded by hills, and I sit and contemplate the beginning and end of the day with hills to the east of me and hills to the west, everything appears to happen in a reverse image. As the sun gently rises above the hills in the east it is the tops of the grand oaks and ashes that it touches first, like Midas, turning all to gold. Gold that slowly but surely creeps downwards as the sun rises higher until the whole trees with the brambles below and the meadows beyond and eventually the hills in the west are awash with light and become coloured once more after the shadows of night. Then after a glorious day when we have soaked up all the sights and sounds and smells that nature can give us and we retire to contemplate our day, dusk begins to fall upwards. The meadows and the brambles gilded with golden light which as the sun sinks works its way upwards, up the trunks of the oaks and ash, up the ivy, up, up to the branches and the topmost crown of the trees leaving all below in evening shadow and the sky above the sun in a blasé of glory. Is this a case of ‘what goes up must come down or what goes down must come up’ or is it just and illusion and confusion of my strange and twisted brain?! It does indeed seem a strange thing to contemplate but it has for many a while been a conundrum I have strived to solve whilst sitting drinking my morning tea, and contemplating nature does give such joy in its own, sometimes confusing, way. A waste of time some might say, just sitting gazing, thinking, but as a wise owl of a friend once pointed out to me, there is a quote, by whom I do not know, which in wise words says – ‘time you enjoy wasting in not time wasted at all’. Was I some kind of psychotherapist in a former life or do I need one, am I just talking nonsense?