Town and country sunrise…

“I can’t remember ever actually watching a dawn,” said my son in a plaintive little voice.  He had been looking at some of my dawn photos, taken that morning from my doorstep. He has seen plenty of dawns… but most of them have been urban affairs, hours later than mine, when the light has cleared the rooftops and chimneypots of the town. Not proper dawns.

He has also, to my sure and certain knowledge, seen rural dawns too… but, because of the faulty memory caused by the brain injury he suffered some years ago, it is quite possible that he really does not remember them.

Busy, unthinking and caught on the hook of that wistful tone, I suggested that if he wasn’t such a lazy toad and got out of bed early enough, I could come down earlier, pick him up and drive him out somewhere to watch the dawn one day.

No more was said about it… until the night before the clocks went back. The day when getting up earlier would mean quite a lot earlier… It was then that he decided to call.
“Can we go and see the sun come up tomorrow?” I groaned, blessed the forecast clouds and put him off until the day after.

Which is why we were leaning on a field gate, freezing our extremities in the pitch black the other morning. Or rather, he was. I had joined him to watch the first streaks of gold set fire to the horizon, watched as the glow spread across the sky…then, knowing it would be another hour before the sun actually crested the hills, I retired to the car to thaw a little.

We had picked a good day for watching a dawn. The sky was cloudless, the air clear and cold, but in the valley, between the low hills and trees, mist blanketed the ground, catching the shifting colours in its softness. My son watched the sunrise and I watched him, knowing the wonder that always comes when you are alone and faced with such beauty.

As the light grew, I joined him again. We watched the stars go out, one by one, drowned by the glow. We saw the frost cover the fields, heard the first birds wake and watched them take to the skies. It was beautiful…but bitterly cold. The Chiltern hills to the east of us would delay the sunrise a good while longer.

Now, I live just a few minutes from where we were watching the dawn. And there is a kettle and coffee , an east facing window and heating…  We retreated and sought warmth, much to the delight of the small dog who got to see another of her boys quite unexpectedly. So we finally saw the sun come up across my garden. Sometimes, you have to make the journey before you realise that what you sought was there all the time, right on your own back doorstep.

The small dog, unhappy at missing her early walk but ecstatic at having her boy for breakfast, was not about to let him disappear too soon and set about guarding the front door. She watches the dawn every day and has no doubt that the sun will rise. Her boys, on the other hand, do not appear nearly often enough for her liking and some things, when you have them, should be looked after….and not allowed to slip away…*

*Or at least not without them being made to feel really, really guilty about it….

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:
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62 Responses to Town and country sunrise…

  1. Pingback: Town and country sunrise… – The Militant Negro™

  2. Wordlander says:

    Lovely photos and good on you for taking your son out on that cold morning! I guess there’s a deep primal thing to the sunrise, the faint human memory of a time when we were never sure the life-giving sun would rise again after it went down. Then again, it’s also just damn beautiful!


  3. jenanita01 says:

    I love reading about you and yours, Sue. Somehow it is all so reassuring…


  4. Dogs have a way of making you feel guilty don’t they Sue. I can remember sharing so many dawns with Hubby when we first met as we went over and over figures and finances trying to make ends meet. We were two individuals with their own emotional baggage helping each other, growing close, and…………… well, you know the rest. New Dawns, New Days, New Beginnings.


  5. willowdot21 says:

    The photos are amazing Sue. I really like the one of Nick from inside the car … A beautiful memory made. And of course Ani by the door! 💜


  6. I always loved to watch the sunrise. I watched the last one I had a real eye for as best I could on the morning of the day the eye was to come out, even though light caused me so much pain by that time (the reason for the eye removal). I could no longer see more than the increase of light by that point, but I got up earlier than I needed to to watch anyhow, remembering sunrises I had been able to see.


  7. AJ.Dixon says:

    What a beautiful post,Sue. I must confess, I’ve never watched a sunrise,at least in this country. I feel inspired by your post to right that wrong 😊 I live near the pennines now,so I ought to be able to hike somewhere suitable! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your stunning photographs.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Some of the most spectacularly beautiful dawns I have ever seen…and I see a good many… have been over the Pennines, This time of year is one of the best times for them too.


  8. Mary Smith says:

    Lovely post, Sue.


  9. bobcabkings says:

    That look of Ani’s should certainly work for the making them feel guilty part.


  10. Beautiful photos and reflections, Sue, and what a wonderful (if chilly) dawn with Nick. I have a feeling he’s not the type to turn down such a suggestion or to wait too long to make it happen. ❤


  11. This was touching. I’m glad you and your son got to share this experience, and great photos. 🙂


  12. I love the photos, Sue and the message too. We forget what is under our noses sometimes!! 🙂


  13. Pingback: Town and country sunrise… | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo - Judy E Martin

  14. A beautiful post about my favorite time of day. And often, the reason I get up in the dark, no matter the time of year. We live in a river valley, so I don’t see the dawn as well as when we are at the Atlantic coast…over the ocean is just about perfect.


  15. Eliza Waters says:

    Sweet share, Sue. Give Nick my regards…


  16. dgkaye says:

    Aw Sue, this was beautiful. It was almost like being there reading your words and looking at the photos. Magnificent colors. ❤


  17. I don’t think I ever noticed the dawn until we moved to the country. Surely there was a dawn every day, but there were so many houses in the way. Here, no houses … but so many TREES in the way! In the winter, I see it through the trees. And of course, the dogs don’t think about it except that when it happens, it’s time to go out to start the day. Thank you. This was lovely.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’ve always loved the dawn…a daily affirmation of possibility. Living in a city most of my life, I have been lucky to live or work where there are hills and so horizons for most of the time. I have missed it when I didn’t.


  18. Widdershins says:

    Ani knows the secret password and she isn’t telling anyone! 😀 … sunrises and sunsets. Transition times when the world stands still, as though any movement might destroy the magic. 🙂


  19. Fabulous shots Sue and love the one of Ani xxx


  20. Dawns at the countryside are always breathtaking. They lift one up, clear the spirit and give so much inner strength…


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