Wednesday 7 April 2010

Morning Has Broken

Let me fill you in on the scenario. It is 6am and the new day has dawned. I’ve just completed my third night shift.

I have a cottage to bide in for the six week duration of my stay on this farm. It is basic but warm. An oil fired rayburn is an absolute god send for cooking, drying and warming. In the sitting room there is a bed and couple of chairs and an open fire, outside there is a dumpy bag full of logs and some coal.

The shepherd here tells me I fetch too much stuff...... Has anyone ever moved from home for a month and had to live in basic accommodation and cater for oneself? There are two pans, one casserole dish, 1mug, 4 plates and that is it other than a washing machine and fridge/freezer.

At the moment I am heading home every day and returning with things I need. Last night I turned up with brush, shovel and poker for the fire, 2 more mugs, dishcloth and ‘phone charger. Tonight it will be kindling sticks (to light the fire), a pen and some paper and anything else I can think of.

Night before last it was the faithful radio, there is no television or for that matter aerial in this property, the radio is a necessity. Now in the summer the aerial of this radio broke and I now rely on a coat hanger for reception. Where the radio worked last year in this cottage it quite flatly refused to pick up reception this year. I moved it and spent what felt like hours twiddling the knob, I was picking up clear reception on a number of channels but once the music playing stopped the DJ’s began talking in foreign languages – not a lot of use to someone who even struggles to understand broad scotch!

Here I am, 36 hours on and I’ve mastered the beast, it is sitting on the little table in the kitchen and Radio Two is coming out of it as clear as a bell, at last I have company and contact with the outside world.

I switched it on this morning whilst the kettle boiled and was taken aback to hear Cat Steven’s rendition of ‘Morning Has Broken’. What a grand way to start the day. One of the few hymns that I really, really like. I’m sure it’s due to the fact it’s one of the few I can remember from my schooldays. It is so significant but even more so at the present moment.

Every morning dawns a new day, the old day goes into the past and the new day is to be lived, new challenges, new surprises – everything is new.

I poddle (wander) around during the night, no flashlight, just my eyes getting accustomed to dark and light. I can’t see the weather. I am aware if it is wet, cold, snowing, windy but I can’t see it. A frosty night stands out bright and starry, the dark nights are just dark nights, I have no idea what the clouds look like or anything, only spotting occasional wildlife through the half light of the shed. A cat, mouse and barn owl were spotted last night.

Eventually morning dawns, this morning is overcast and gloomy – I can see it! ‘Morning has broken, like the first morning’ Mother Nature and luck has allowed me to see yet another morning in all it’s glory. ‘Blackbird has spoken , like the first bird’ – the morning chorus sets up just prior to day break, the birds tweeting and twittering away as though it is their first morning, they are as excited to see it as I am and eventually as the morning dawns I am also allowed the pleasure of seeing them.

Early morning is such a magical time, whatever the weather conditions, it is a marvel that it has come around again. A fresh day ahead, something new to look forward to. And off to a good footing this morning thanks to Cat Steven’s rendition of ‘Morning has broken’. It’s Easter Sunday apparently by the radio, to me the days are all the same, I need a diary or calendar to remember where in the week I am, at least I don’t have to remember where I have to be!