June 3rd, 2005

Crack Of Dawn

I woke this morning and there was something strange about the light. I thought at first that the lights were on in the house next door and they were shining in though our windows. No- I looked and next door was dark and the sky was simply grey, nothing unusual about it all. And then I worked out what was different. It was the angle of the light. It was coming in low from the east. I don't often see the dawn.....

I went back to bed and remembered how they made me go camping when I was fourteen. Me and this other boy. It was something that was required of us from the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme- a sort of scouts-lite outfit we'd been compelled to join at our boarding school. The alternative was the Officer Training Corps- and I was determined that no-one was ever going to get me into a soldier-boy uniform....

He and I should have been friends, seeing as how we were both outsiders. But I guess putting two outsiders together is like putting two positively charged magnets together. We were polite to one another and that was that. Polite in a surly, moody, James-Deanish sort of a way.

So we had a miserable time up on the hillside under canvas. And to make it worse it rained. Obviously I didn't sleep much.

When the dark started to wear away I left the tent and went out into the mist. I couldn't see more than a few feet in front of my face. Then the mist went from grey to gold and very quickly dissolved and I was looking down on a sea of cloud, all bumpy like porridge, with a hilltop or two rising out of it to one side and the sun coming up over its edge. Then, a minute or two later, the sea of cloud blew away and in its place was a sunlit valley, all sparkling greens and yellows and bright blues, the most amazing thing I'd ever seen in my life.