Muted hues of dawn light filtered through the rectangular windows of the caravan. I sat up in bed to peer through the dusty glass. The interior of the bush garage that housed our camping abode was scarcely visible in the soft daybreak. I scanned the garage ceiling to check if our resident bat, Bruce Wayne, had survived the night. He swung off his steel rafter, no doubt feeling satisfied after feasting on the insect smorgasbord that swirled around our many solar lights every night.
The garage window made the perfect frame for the view of the bush and gully beyond our camp. I rubbed my eyes to focus on the pair of local kookaburras living on our hill. One bird fluffed its feathers as it perched on a gum tree branch, tilting its head from side to side in an effort to see around its long beak as it searched the ground for breakfast.
The second kookaburra lifted its head high and let out a great laughing cry. The first followed, and they chorused a laughing song. These birds amaze me. They know the exact moment a new day will break and the exact moment the day fades into evening. They herald both times with great gusto, megaphoning laughing echoes into the air. I imagined them singing, ‘Here comes the day, get out of bed, a new day is here.’ And then at dusk, ‘Night is coming. The day is gone. Sleep is here.’
The enthusiasm these birds show for each new day made me think about all the times I have literally dragged myself out of bed, complaining. Complaining about still being tired, about not getting enough sleep, and about how much I have to do. This morning, I fell back against my pillow, listening to my feathered neighbours heralding the new day, and tried to recall the last time dawn had delighted me so much I had broken out into song. I couldn’t recall a recent early morning spontaneous outburst of joy.
Nor could I remember an instance when I had rejoiced at having seen through a day. There were times I had sat at the end of a busy day, content in what I had achieved. But, unlike the kookaburras, I hadn’t rejoiced over the day, or paid such vocal homage to a cycle of sunlight.
I snuggled under the covers, and became transfixed by an exquisite Granny’s Cloak Moth fluttering from wall to wall, looking for a place to land. The brown eyes on its wings winked at me as it chose a comfortable resting place. I closed my eyes and listened to the wind as it roared up the gully. Tree tops rustled, then shook, as the driving gust moved through the bush. It sounded like a distant freight train getting closer and closer, until the unseen force was upon the camp causing the tin to rattle and the eucalyptus trees to drop dry twigs on the tin roof. The freight train of wind moved on, creating havoc in the foliage further up the hill, and then disappeared over the mountain top. I smiled as I thought about the way my entire world was heralding the day.
As put my feet on the floor, I hummed, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made.’ I thought about my place in the world, and how separated—or removed—I often feel. When I am home in my town house, I barely notice my natural environment. I knew nature was there. I saw and heard various animals on occasion, but it is hard to distinguish the kookaburra calls over the clatter of household appliances, the neighbour’s stereo, and the traffic on our busy road.
At home, I don’t awaken to nature’s heralding call, but to the scream of an alarm. There are no winking moths, no resident bats, and no local animals calling to say good morning. The soft early light doesn’t pat me awake. Instead, I often woke to the sun piercing through a slit in my blind. Nature is there—outside—but I’m not nearly as aware of it as I am at our camp. My town environment doesn’t seem to love me like my bush environment does.
All these morning events and contemplations drew me to a fabulous conclusion. I am a part of an astounding creation, and I don’t make the most of it. I thanked the Lord for our camp, far away from the sounds of humanity. Through its seclusion I had discovered what I was missing.
I thought about this Bible verse from Luke 5:16:
‘But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.’ (New American Standard Bible)
I am certain that our Lord knew the value of the awesome creation we live in. Locked away in our houses, streets, towns and cities, it is easy to forget we are part of a much bigger picture. It is easy to overlook the bond we share with the natural world. Beyond us are innumerable creatures, plants and elements who all herald each day. I challenge you, dear reader, to slip away to your local wilderness sometime soon, and find your own way to herald the day.
First seen in Book Fun Magazine:
Rose was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her Resolution series.
Two of the three Resolution novels have won Australian CALEB awards. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel highlighting the pain of Australia’s past policy of forced adoption, as well as standalone novel, Ehvah After. Her most recent release is the novella, A Christmas Resolution.
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and her desire to produce stories that point readers to Jesus. Rose holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, and resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband and son.
Visit Rose at: https://rosedee.com/