Once as I travelled through a quiet evening,
I saw a pool, jet-black and mirror-still.
Beyond, the slender paperbarks stood crowding;
each on its own white image looked its fill,
and nothing moved but thirty egrets wading –
thirty egrets in a quiet evening.
Once in a lifetime, lovely past believing,
your lucky eyes may light on such a pool.
As though for many years I had been waiting,
I watched in silence, till my heart was full
of clear dark water, and white trees unmoving,
and, whiter yet, those thirty egrets wading.
Judith Wright The Egrets
Whenever I am fortunate enough to witness moments of wordless beauty, like this morning’s sunrise, I think of the line in Judith Wrights’ poem. The clouds, the light, the rocks, the ocean each element so unique like a fingerprint. The dotted clouds from a heavenly brush. Long diagonal streaks of light. The orange golden light touching the rocks. The energetic swell spilling over the rocks.
I wasn’t going to miss this morning’s sunrise. I was out the door at 4:30am and cruising around in my car. Between Diggers Beach and the South Wall. For a long while there was no evidence of any gaps low on the horizon. A wall of drab cloud. That’d be right up early again, and another grey sunrise.
It was probably not until just after 6:00am that I could see there was a gap low on the horizon. I originally thought of going to Charlesworth Bay, but I knew that this northern facing part of Macauleys Headland picks up the sun on the rocks.
I left my car and it was still dark, the horizon clouds beginning to fire crimson. It was a battle to pick over the headland rocks, hard to see if the rocks were slippery or not. There was some patches of water, and there are rocks which are polished like glass and easy to trip over.
Eventually I reached a vantage point I was happy with. I wasn’t sure if the sunrise would keep its colour, the clouds were moving and potentially blocking out the sun. The waves were quite large and overtopping the rocks. I had a bottle of water and some dunny paper to wipe any spray off them. I was organised.
And then the sunrise happened, and everything was forgotten in that 15 minute window of magic light. Those moments that stretch out forever, and I wish never had to end. Seeing a sunrise like this morning’s give me the courage to face another day. I didn’t want to face the supermarkets again, but this sunrise made me more able to turn and face the world of people.