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I received a message from my dear friend Kamran inviting me to celebrate the dawn at 5.00am  on Sunday 26th April 2020 with him, in the spirit of oneness in virtual reality, celebrating the beauty and the healing powers of dawn and the rising sun.  We could not be together in person, due to social-distancing of Covid-19. 

This presented a challenge for me, not rising from my slumber at 04:45am, but the fact that I associate beauty with sadness. Let me explain.

5 years ago we lost our daughter, Lisa, who was 23 years old. She was beautiful, my best friend and soulmate. It may seem strange but when I see beauty in its many forms, human, songs, countryside and more,  it is this beauty that makes me feel sad as I relate this feeling to my daughter who is no longer here, hence my deep sadness. 

However, after much deliberation and soul-searching, I decided to rise to Kamran’s challenge and I set my alarm for 04:45am.

The alarm went off and I now understand the saying ‘silence is deafening’! It was so quiet, I got dressed and proceeded outside. The first thing I noticed was not the fact that it was so quiet, but that I could  breathe the beautiful fresh air with the smell of freshly mowed  grass from the day before, and the fragrances of morning flowers and more.

As I ventured further the birds began to sing in all their glory, blue tits, robins, blackbirds to name but a few. All were singing at the top of their voices as the sun now began to rise.

Other sounds appeared, the woodpecker furiously pecking the tree, the owl hooting and in the distance lambs bleating for their mothers. Geese flew overhead and rabbits now began to venture out into the fields beyond. I was fully immersed in the sights and sounds around me. Then it struck me, I didn’t feel sad at all! I didn’t feel sad for my daughter, I didn’t feel sad about the terrible pandemic of Covid19, I didn’t even think about the fact that I was now unemployed, for at this moment I was immersed in the new Dawn and completely at peace with myself.

Overhead House Martins appeared having been on the wing from Africa, surely this was a sign of good things to come and a new season ahead.

The Dawn Experience was a new one for me albeit one which I very much associate with. That association stems from being a very young boy living in the Forest of Dean. The Forest is a beautiful, magical place. However we only see the beauty if we open our eyes, open our ears to look and listen. Too often these days we walk around with eyes wide shut, ears closed and miss the things that are all around us. 

I have a deep affection for the Forest and although my father is not around anymore, having passed away some years ago, the walks in the Forest and the education he provided me with, stays with me to this very day.

I, too, did my utmost to  educate my children to value and cherish the beauty that is all around us. So that when we all went for walks, they were always full of praise for mother nature, with eyes and ears wide open. They  often commented about the Sparrowhawk they saw, what type of ducks were on the river and that they had heard the cuckoo.

I am also an avid fly fisherman and this too provides me with inner peace, contentment and joy. Then, at times I experience some wonderfully happy moments, when I am on the riverbank: Witnessing  the sight of an electric blue flash as a Kingfisher passes by and on some lucky occasions when an otter can be seen and  dippers bobbing up and down in the shallows, disappearing below the surface of the river looking for food.

What I am trying to say is that despite all the things that are thrown at us, family, jobs and life in general, there are experiences which remain available to us, which do not cost a penny. All it takes is to view life in a slightly different way. 

We must keep our eyes and ears open. Allowing the wonder and beauty of nature to fully embrace us. Then, we can all be pleasantly surprised at just how much we have been missing. I would encourage you all to find your own Dawn Experience, as I have. Believe me, it can be one of  the most rewarding actions you can take on the path of self-discovery and inner peace. 

In conclusion,  I would like  to share this most beautiful song that captures it all.