Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

“Wind in the Willows” is one my favorite children’s books – and “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” is one of my favorite chapters in the book.

The Cliff Notes version goes like this: Rat and Mole set off down the river at night, searching for Little Portly, Otter’s youngest progeny, who’s gone walk-about. The Otters are worried – they haven't seen the little rascal for a few days.

As the sun begins to rise, Rat and Mole are drawn to shore by the sound of beautiful music, someone playing a pipe. It is, of course, Pan – the Greek god of shepherds and mountain wilds -- mythological patron of critters. Rat and Mole have a Religious Experience.

And then they find Portly.

The end.

It may come as a something of a surprise, but like Rat and Mole, I am capable of spiritual introspection on occasion. Easily once every decade or so. And, today, I had one of those Piper-at-the-Gates-of Dawn moments. You are my witness.

Spoiler alert: No, this is NOT The Rapture.

So here goes. Ben and I had missed the Amazing M's today and, much to our surprise, had the park to ourselves. Unusual for a Thursday morning.

It was a slightly overwhelming, slightly heady feeling.

The park and surrounding neighborhood were uncharacteristically still, almost expectant -- the distant sounds of the city waking up muted and distant.

And looking east, here's what we saw:

We were enveloped in light. The first light of a spring morning. The illumination intensified by the second, wrapping a silvery brightness around the park, the trees, the tennis courts, drinking fountains and swing sets.

We were all touched. Ben was motionless, his head cocked back, eyes half-closed, teasing the air with his nose. I stood, not knowing whether to kneel or peel out in some crazy old-lady happy dance. And, at that moment, the weight of winter, it's soul-crushing darkness, simply melted away.

You know, life is good.

This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me. . . .

-- Water Rat, Wind in the Willows

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy for you that the first light of spring seems to be in bermtopia already. That last picture is gorgeous!

    BTW, have you checked the comment in your last post? :)