Dawn

Sometimes I awake just before dawn. As I did this morning. Lifting the blind, my eyes are greeted with a mesmerizing sight: a vast canvas of night-darkened grass, the tips of each blade sparkling with frost. The crescent moon cuts a smiling swath just above the treeline. The sky is tinted  that breathtaking shade of blue that no paint or tile company, try as they might, can truly capture. Van Gogh’s paintings (such as Starry Night over the Rhone) come close, but still – no cigar.

Dawn in my backyard
Dawn in my backyard

I stand fixated on this peaceful landscape, too early still for the parade of dog- and power-walkers. Sometimes a prayer or song comes to mind. Today, as I watch a seagull swoop down to land on a patch of sand, this poem alights into my half-sleepy head:

The World is Mine

Today upon a bus I saw
A girl with golden hair;
She seemed so gay, I envied her,
And wish that I were half so fair;
I watched her as she rose to leave,
And saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch,
But as she passed–a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two legs–the world is mine.

Later on I bought some sweets.
The boy who sold them had such charm,
I thought I’d stop and talk awhile.
If I were late, t’would do no harm.
And as we talked he said,
“Thank you, sir, you’ve really been so kind.
It’s nice to talk to folks like you
Because, you see, I’m blind”
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes–the world is mine.

Later, walking down the street,
I met a boy with eyes so blue.
But he stood and watched the others play;
It seemed he knew not what to do.
I paused, and then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
But he looked straight ahead without a word,
And then I knew, he couldn’t hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two ears–the world is mine.

Two legs to take me where I go,
Two eyes to see the sunset’s glow,
Two ears to hear all I should know,
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I’m blest, indeed, the world is mine.

(Attributed to either Dr. Tennyson Guyer or anonymous)

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