Dawn Light

quote Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hastening from the streams of Oceanus, to bring light to mortals and immortals…
—Iliad
I’ve been up before the sunrise to watch the day begin.
—Kate Wolf
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.
—Rumi

DawnLightDawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day
Diane Ackerman
W. W. Norton & Company (September 28, 2009), 265 pages
Kindle Edition $9.99, Hardcover Bargain Price $9.98, Amazon Paperback $13.13

In fact only the third quote actually appears in this book, though Diane Ackerman does mention Homer’s “rosy-fingered Dawn.” All three quotes, however, represent the spirit of the Ackerman’s work. I’m surprised that she doesn’t mention the Kate Wolf lyric given how many times she writes about being up before the sunrise to watch the day begin.

Dawn Light was an enjoyable diversion for me because Diane Ackerman’s writing is evocative of the prose of Loren Eisley. She writes about dawn in nature in different parts of the world at different times of the year. She is a marvelous observer of the natural world and she translates those observations very well to the printed (or in my case iPad) page.

She doesn’t stay strictly with the topic of dawn or nature, however. She writes about beekeeping, Zen Buddhism, the meaning of Japanese words, crystals, how Monet’s cataract surgery caused him to destroy and re-create a number of his paintings, and her experience on a silent retreat.

Diane’s Ackerman’s essays are beautifully written and a pleasure to read.


One Comment on “Dawn Light”

  1. I thought I was the only one who remembers Kate Wolf. Lovely to see that lyric.


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