But dawn— dawn is a gift.


There is a rumor of total welcome among the frosts of the winter morning. Beauty has its purposes, which, all our lives and at every season, it is our opportunity, and our joy, to divine. Nothing outside ourselves makes us desire to do so; the questions, and the striving toward answers, come from within. The field I am looking at is perhaps twenty acres altogether, long and broad. The sun has not yet risen but is sending its first showers over the mountains, a kind of rehearsal, a slant light with even a golden cast. I do not exaggerate. The light touches every blade of frozen grass, which then burns as a particular as well as part of the general view. The still-upright weeds have become wands, encased in a temporary shirt of ice and light. Neither does this first light miss the opportunity of the small pond, or the groups of pine trees. And now: enough of silver, behold the pink, even a vague, unsurpassable flush of pale green. It is the performance of this hour only, the dawning of the day, fresh and ever new. This is to say nothing against afternoons, evenings, or even midnight. Each has its portion of the spectacular. But dawn— dawn is a gift. Much is revealed about a person by his or her passion, or indifference, to this opening of the door of day. No one who loves dawn, and is abroad to see it, could be a stranger to me.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Wordsworth’s Mountain” in Upstream: Selected Essays


Photo: emeL (magic grass)


  1. Each word is a pearl…how she does this with such simple combinations, yielding a reality so luminous? She is a gift…as the dawn

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the pastel colouring

    Liked by 1 person

  3. this is such a thing of beauty, each word…and dawn is my favorite time of day

    Liked by 1 person

  4. roseanne333 says:

    Oh, how I love what she evokes in us. Each sentence, each word so beautifully chosen and perfect.
    Dawn, and especially pre-dawn, my absolute favorite time.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. See, you don’t have a sleeping problem.

    “Much is revealed about a person by his or her passion, or indifference, to this opening of the door of day. No one who loves dawn, and is abroad to see it, could be a stranger to me.”

    You and Oliver are best buddies.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I, too, favor the early morning hours, when most of the world still slumbers and I have a moment to catch my breath and consider the day ahead. Oliver just gets it….every. single. time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always feel connected to something very special and expansive at dawn. Mary describes it beautifully. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am also a pre dawner…which would bug my Mom to no end 🙂 I love the solitude, the beauty of greeting a new day and I think of this gift and how often from my vantage I am perhaps the only one who has caught a glimpse of the ever fleeting changing sky as light illuminates, gifting… /// often I take photos of the sky…often I call to my husband to come quick before the sky changes or to love out the living room window to watch the light grace the timbered mountain, or to open the bathroom window to see the daylight appear or to see the colors from the sun kissing the expanse of sky toward the west…so thankful for eyesight and the ability to easily draw in fresh breath…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful picture and words. Dawn is a gift indeed.

    Liked by 1 person


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