Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Commonplace Book...Jean Henri Fabre

Sheltered by a clump of juniper-trees, Uncle Paul and the three children await the grand spectacle they have come to the top of the hill to see.  In the east the sky is getting lighter, the stars turn pale and go out one by one.  Flakes of rosy cloud swim in the brilliant streak of light whence gradually there rises a soft illumination.  It reaches the zenith, and the blue of day reappears with all its delicate transparency.  This cool morning light, this half-daylight that precedes the rising of the sun, is the aurora or morning twilight.  In the meantime a lark, the joy of the fields, takes wing to the highest clouds, like a rocket, and is the first to salute the awakening day.  It mounts and mounts, always singing, as if to get in front of the sun; and with its enthusiastic songs it celebrates in the high heavens the glory of the day-bringer.  Listen: there is a breath of wind in the foliage, which stirs and rustles; the little birds are waking up and chirping,; the ox, already led to work in the fields, stops as if thinking, raises its large eyes full  of gentleness, and lows; everything becomes animated, and, in its own language, renders thanks to the Master of all things, who with His powerful hand brings us back the sun. 

And here it is: a bright thread of light bursts forth, and the tops of the mountains are suddenly illumined.  It is the edge of the sun beginning to rise.  The earth trembles before the radiant apparition.  The shining disc keeps rising: there it is almost whole, now completely so, like a grindstone of red-hot iron. The mist of the morning moderates its glare and allows one to look it in the face; but soon no one could endure its dazzling splendor.  In the meantime its rays inundate the plain; a gentle heat succeeds the keen freshness of the night; the mists rise from the depths of the valleys and are dissipated; the dew, gathered on the leaves, becomes warm and evaporates; on all sides there is a resumption of life, of the animation suspended during the night.  And all day, pursuing its course from east to west, the sun moves on, flooding the earth with light and heat, ripening the yellow harvest, giving perfume to the flowers, taste to fruit, life to every creation. - The Story Book of Science by Jean Henri Fabre, p, 269-271

I LOVE Fabre's description of the sun rise!  Read slowly and soak it in.  Or, better yet, close your eyes and savor someone reading it aloud to you :)

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