Land of the Living Light


Every morning, the first thing I do is open my bedroom curtains to take a glance at the day. I rise early, usually before dawn at this time of year. When clouds obscure the horizon, all I can see is the darkness and I do not know how the day will begin. The view is not particularly inspiring… a tiny, fenced lawn gives on to flat fields bounded by hedgerows and young thorn trees. And yet, my room looks east, and whatever the day may offer, in that first moment I greet the light; a new day is beginning and the seasons are moving, slowly but inexorably in an eternal dance.


As I open the garden door for Ani, the air is fresh and cold. Those first few minutes begin to hint at what I will see. First light is a softening the sky and I can watch the silhouettes of the trees become visible against the darkness. Sometimes mist forms to hang in low veils over the fields and I watch its swirling birth. This morning I watched as the dew turned to frost and painted the garden white and saw the russet streak of a fox cross the fields.


And then the sun rose, and for a few minutes the sky was on fire; brilliant orange and black, streaked with gold. It does not last long. Once the sun rises above the hedge, the colours change and the sky shrouds its inner passion in virginal blue.


Most mornings I take the camera outside in a knowingly vain attempt to do justice to beauty. It is impossible… the lens can only capture the physical image; a tiny snapshot of a growing, ever-changing glory that is born but once and will never come again. It shows the terrestrial stasis of hedge and fence, brick and wood, but cannot capture the clarity of the air or its touch on the skin, the formation of ice crystals on every blade of grass or the vast arc of the sky that embraces the earth.


Every dawn is different. A daily miracle…a moment of breathless awe. Sometimes the sky is a pastel painting, sometimes aflame…and you can never predict what will happen. You can only wait and watch the moment unfold with the same reverence you feel in a sacred place.


It is at times like these that you feel your mortality, for every moment that passes  is unique, every dancing mote of light touches you just once and, if missed, is gone forever. Yet, watching the ceaseless motion of earth and sky, weather and season, you feel your immortality too. You are part of this landscape of living light and it is part of you.


You change it by your presence… without your eyes, the morning would still be born, but it would be different. And it changes you too. Your day begins with a beauty so vast and so glorious that it lifts the heart. Whatever else may come, whatever darkness may follow, is dwarfed by its splendour and humbled by wonder.


Even when the dawn rises unseen beyond the dark clouds, still it rises. Its beauty may be hidden from view, but the light still grows to show the way.  Every morning hope is reborn with the sun…and every day is a new beginning full of infinite possibilities.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in earth, mystery, nature, Photography, soul, Spirituality, symbolism, The Silent Eye and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Land of the Living Light

  1. You are one of those Truly Rare People, who takes time out to “Stop to Smell the Flowers and Breathe the Air”. How observant you are !! You Value Nature’s Beauty.


  2. Ritu says:

    These are truly stunning photos Sue!


  3. jenanita01 says:

    Such a beautiful post, Sue, and timely. Just when this world seems to hell bent on confusion and madness, we are reminded of the beauty of our planet. A good reminder…


  4. Mary Smith says:

    Lovely post, Sue. And good to read something so lovely and positive and life-affirming amongst all the horror stories today.
    I wish I could be an early morning person and witness some of those sun rises 🙂


  5. Bernadette says:

    I so enjoy reading your posts about your early mornings.


  6. You have captured the birth of a new day in all of its glory. Oh how lucky we are to be witness to such beauty. Thank you for sharing. :o)


  7. Helen Jones says:

    So lovely, Sue – your photos are glorious. I am the same in that I rise most days before dawn, and love to watch the sky change from my kitchen window, running out into the garden with camera in an attempt to capture the sky. Then at sunset I watch from my bedroom and study, loving the streaks of colour across the sky as the sun fades. I agree with you about them being markers of time passing – we are lucky each day to see them 🙂


  8. I love your photos Sue. The colours of the sky, the shape of the clouds. This really is nature at its most beautiful 🙂


  9. noelleg44 says:

    Now that the leaves are off the trees and the sun is rising later, I am enjoying sunrise, too! Still obscured by woods, but the light is amazing. Wonderful story, Sue.


  10. Noah Weiss says:

    This is so powerful, especially after reading the doom-and-gloom “The sun won’t come up tomorrow” harbingers from the USA.

    The timing of this post is wonderful, even though I know it’s coincidental.


  11. Early mornings are the best time of the day. It is the stillness of nature that is so calming and inspirational.


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