Dawn in Bangkok

Dawn is coming here, following on from the warmth of a Bangkok darkness where the heated dreams of its slumbering inhabitants have lazily soaked the choking violet skies for a constant twelve hours. Time near the Equator is so very different to those in Canada, England, Europe, the US. The cadence of light and dark is metronomic, the chirp of the coming dawn precisely opposite the wail of the falling dusk. Here in this city on the Chao Phraya river where humanity has so often bent its meandering course to an irrigated will, tasked the waters to the needs of the arable farms that send the fruits of their seeds to scatter far and wide over this region, the regular pulse of Nature gives some comfort to Gaea, lets her flourish with a vibrancy that I have never seen in northern climes.

In North America, Europeans often coo, stand in shock and awe at the vastness of the steel landscape, the growl of engines that pull huge machines, taste the cornucopia of a palate that is somehow enormous. Here, in this city  after nearly forty years, I come to understand that humanity strives always to copy of what Nature seems to effortlessly create in lands where the order of light and dark cohabit peacefully. The trees, the creatures, the birds and insects, are permitted to reach a potential faster than where I come from. The people of this land have no need to crave vastness, to reach for the bigger and better, the faster and wiser. Nature gives it to them and they partake of its bountiful splendour with a delicacy that is both graceful and measured.

The dark skies are streaking with gold as I sit here with my quill carelessly spilling ink on this white parchment. I knew dawn would come at this precise moment; knew that that Apollo would exhort his empyreal steeds to cross the skies once more; understand that in this reality Phaethon has no future plummeting to be gathered in the saddened arms of Demeter as the tears streak down her face for another lost child. In a scant few minutes veins of pure gold are embroidered on the landscape of a Bangkok sky and the unmute-able hum of city life grabs eagerly hold of those glittering motes to quietly promise the chorus of another day. Dawn is coming, inexorably and exulted, to this city and nothing will stop it.

The hotel, opposite where I recline languidly, pauses, draws a breath…waiting….

Goosebumps race across my skin, prickling my conscience as I stare out of the dirt-painted window.

It begins with a single flicker as the sun crests the horizon and a single window out of the hundreds sees the flame, welcomes it, flares impossibly bright like a brazier lit to warn of a coming Armada. Catches the fire and scatters it in a single second to its brethren. To me, as I watch in many-myriad wonder, the skyline bursts into dancing light. The hotel opposite welcomes Apollo, truly becomes his Muse for a golden, glittering moment. The day has come and a moment coruscates far beyond anything humanity can create. Such precious moments force us to pause the pulse of our lives, to appreciate that we do not have the power we think we have, that our tiny moment of time on this world pales compared to what has gone before. These moments are panegyrics, paeans to the effort that has gone into presenting us with a place to live, to thrive, to love and laugh.

With a single dawn in Bangkok that Gaea gives us over and over I am reminded that we each must stop at times and simply…appreciate. Appreciate life, each other, our health, the things we own, our beating hearts, our musical souls. Applaud our skills and beliefs, our unique pattern on the tapestry of trillions of lives. We are each a strand within a strand, are as important as we believe ourselves to be, as flawed as we desire. The complicated eulogy we each present to those we cannot see, but crave solicitude from, will always be present. It is a knowledge that I am permitted to taste in these scant seconds, these frozen minutes. I ease my stiffening limbs from my seat and stand.

Stretch. Luxuriate in the light and warmth pouring through my open windows. I can hear everything outside, see everything.

I will soon need to move forward into another day with all its joys and tribulations.

Yet, for now…I can stand and watch the glorious beauty of a new Bangkok day…and silently thank Gaea for all she has done for us because her beauty is truly breath-taking whenever we take the time to stop and look at her.

Is this what diplomacy is all about? No. But Life is all about such moments. Live them.



Categories: Bangkok

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