Fleeting

life

This past week was very frosty, so I ended up getting the train to work. The compensatory benefit for putting up with packed, late-running trains and grumpy fellow commuters was the opportunity to see some truly stunning sunrises. The station platform faces east, and you see big, open skies over the nearby range of hills.

On Tuesday, I was treated to the display you see in the photo above as I waited for my train. The low level clouds were a deep, rich orange against the pellucid blue of the sky. Above, the clouds were a wispy pink, spread across the sky, with a wonderful rumpled texture. A tongue of golden flame -- a herald, marking the point from which the sun would rise -- pointed straight up into the blue. As I watched, it became brighter and more intense, turning into a pillar of fire. Within a matter of minutes, as I watched, this intense, glorious show faded back to normality.

If I hadn't been waiting with nothing to do, if I'd been busy getting on with my day, I would never have seen this incredible spectacle. If I'd seen it start, then looked away with better things to do, and looked back, I would have missed it. And that moment would never happen again in quite that way. It would be lost forever.

By coincidence, I came across this Ezra Pound poem today, which seemed to articulate the slightly blue mood I've been in for a couple of months, and that this pillar of fire shook me out of.

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass

Ezra Pound

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