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Story Notes:

First posted in 2006.  Inspired by 2 separate mornings watching the sun rise, and a picture found in the house of a friend.

I was sitting outside, wrapped in a blanket, watching the sun coming up. The hills around me were changing from shady and black, to having a pink tint on them. I was still very cold, but could see the sun coming, and knew from previous experience that I would at least have the pretence of some kind of heat when the sun hit my face. This was my world; I was alone in it, alone to face the beauty.

No one else ever came here, and I was aware that the visions I saw were not known to any other person. Sunrise was always my perfect time of day, the time that I knew God most often. I did not know that anyone else could experience such things, and, I did not know yet, that this illusion was going to change. For the moment, however, I was perfectly content to just sit and watch the sun coming up.

I rose and wandered a few yards, the heather scrunching beneath my feet, and as I looked up to the top of the hills I could see the snow capping them. They never quite lost that covering, even in the heat of the summer. This just increased the magic of this place, this little retreat I sought out each day. My life was a busy one, and filled with people. But here, I could be the only person alive. This was why, despite the loneliness that the others despised, I lived so far away from everyone else.

It was peaceful where I was sitting – occasionally I would hear a bird singing – and the darkness had never really fully come. When winter arrived, all that would change – I wouldn’t be sitting outside with a blanket… In fact, I’d have to move down to join the rest of the world.

Occasionally a young deer bounded past, or a sheep would wander by in search of grazing. Then my ears heard a young voice coming along the path towards me. In horror I crouched; ready to flee. The beauty of my paradise was about to be broken.

However, something strange happened then, as they came past the brow of the hill. One of the girls pointed at the view and they all hushed. They still spoke, but this time it was more in terms of reverence. Their words carried across to me, and I calmed a little, before standing up, and walking over to join them. It would be wonderful to share this moment with other similar minded people.

No one spoke; they just accepted my presence in the early half light. I knew that questions would come later on – perhaps I would even invite them to join me in my hide away.

They were young, and wore uniforms of brown and flame; eventually I learned that they were the eldest students of a boarding school based in Wales, in a village quite close to where I stayed. I hadn’t known there was a school there, I hadn’t thought to enquire. After that I heard of their branch in Switzerland. Later I was to go for a visit with some of the girls, for a term abroad.

All that was in the future, for now, it was enough to know that there were others who enjoyed the beauty of the sunrise in the hills, to get up early to go and watch it rise, and marvel at the love of God, and how he would choose to create much beauty.

“Of course, it will mean early bed tonight” one of the girls said to me, “but we count it well worth it; and as its part of the half term holiday for us, it’s an extra special treat. Normally we can only come up here during the afternoon. To see the sun actually rise was just amazing.”

With that the party left me, wondering when I would be able to see them again, amazed at their love of life. I certainly came across nothing of the kind at the factory I worked at, and I knew that having experienced people of this kind I would feel for their lack elsewhere. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too long before I was able to meet up with them again. Hopefully they wouldn’t forget about me once the returned to the school, for I knew, I would never forget them.



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