It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn

Monday, September 13, 2010


There are new dawns and there are new dawns.

In Have the Best Year of your Life I suggest that for at least one day in the year you should set the alarm to ring before dawn, grab a duvet or jacket and sit outside to watch the sun rise. Watching a new day dawn is as invigorating as emerging from your house into a surprise blanket of snow: fresh, virgin, unmarked. As you sit and hear sounds usually drowned by the noise of lives,  and smell the delicate perfume of leaves washed by the dew, you feel in that moment you could write absolutely anything on the surface of the day.

I’ve just got back from Greece where every day I was able to watch the sun rise. At 7am the mountains of the mainland became backlit by a curtain of pale yellow, intensifying every few minutes until the yellow deepened into a thick fringe of gold, tracing each needle point of the range, until the sun burst free and sent a burning pathway, unfurling across the channel of sea separating the mainland from Lefkada island where I was staying.

It was breath-taking: a freshly minted world every single morning.

Actually, I wasn’t really on holiday, but in Lefkada in response to an invitation to deliver a Heal Your Life workshop at Serenity Retreat – a new holiday centre for solos on a personal development, spiritual or 12-step (recovery from addiction) journey.

It was powerful stuff, and somehow the location seemed to have the same intensifying effect on what our small group went through as the clear Greek skies had on each day’s sunrise. In the course of a week’s sessions we looked at our baggage, our pain, the emotions we try and surpress; we looked at the habits and beliefs that hold us back; and we looked at forgiveness and what brings us alive and writing a new story for our lives.

And then the week was just about over and for the final time the first suggestion of light in the east filtered into the apartment where I never drew the curtains precisely so dawn would wake me. I slid from bed and onto the balcony – just in time to see a small fishing boat chugging to the pebbled beach below. Next door I heard a key turn in the lock, footsteps heading down the stone steps, then crunching lightly across the beach. And then the same small boat pushed off from the shore into that golden path of sunlight and silhouetted under its tarpaulin one of the group who’d been on the workshop, sea breeze rippling the long white blouse she was wearing over a swimming costume, dark hair burnished gold just as the mountain tops had been, eyes raised to the sun, as she shouted to her new Greek fisherman friend, and to me, awestruck on the balcony:  ‘wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.’

What she’d been through during the workshop is between her, me, and the other amazing members of our group. But of where she was heading, there was no doubt.
It was a new day, a new dawn, a new life…and we were all feeling gooood.

Posted by Jane Matthews on 09/13 at 03:42 PM
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