St Blanes Dawn

The sun touches the uppermost point of the stone cross perched on
the apex of the little chapel's roof. Dew crystaled lichen 
capturing the rays of light and sending them twinkling to the 
ground. Beneath the cross,the building is held in darkness. 
Thick fog clinging, valley filling darkness, coating the walls
in damp rivulets, running down onto the rotting window cills, 
breaking them into sodden lumps of wood. All around the graveyard 
is green with dripping moss, hanging from the stones and flowing 
into the thick couch grass carpet below. 

Voices gather. At first indistinguishable from the 'cack' of
jackdaws in the brooding, bare branches above.  Broken fragments 
of speech, climbing into the valley. The squelch of boots through
the soaking grass, the soft rustle of oilskin, the breathlessness 
of lifting, as the old pedal organ is hauled into place. 

Slowly the voices grow distinct, individual, reaching out to each
other and forming conversations. The growing crowd silencing for
now the cackle of birds. Faces cram into the ruined chapel, lit 
by the sun now reaching down through the chancel window, while the
mist drips from tight drawn hoods. A new gathering of modern monks,
bridging the millennium, reaching back to the monks of Blane, 
holding fast the thread of time.

The pedal organ puffs and wheezes into life, notes clinging to 
the damp air, always a third too high to sing easily. Dawn 
breaks full through the window's stone arch, flooding the
little congregation in pale golden light, as the Easter hymn rises 
once more through the brooding trees, chasing the jackdaws
cackling loudly into the skies.

© Malcolm Alexander 2017


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