The ladder

By Nicholas Hooper

Building up out of a place that seemed hopeless, he felt a breath of fresh air, a glimpse of light, and like all things alive, he grew towards what would give him life. Dust had settled on his shoulders, grime was in his eyes and his bones creaked like a rusty gate.

Up, take the next rung, with difficulty, stiffness and wonder and worry. Would this old body of his, challenged by life, be able to climb up far enough to catch more than a fraction of the sun that he knew must be there above him?

One hand, one foot, pull on this thing that you half trust. Will it break? Will it swing out leaving you to dangle and fall back into the darkness that seemed to be your end? You feel it creak, you feel it shake. You long for a hug at the top, stepping out onto dry land to the love you knew surrounded you. How did you lose it, cast into your own pit, as it were? How did you end up in such a blank, black place like a buried soul?

One more hand, one more foot. Heave body weight up, up, up, straining towards the fresh, light air, you feel every sinew of hope, every sweat of courage, every ache of love, and move, move towards the light.

But he was there and he suddenly knew it. He was above the grave he had dug himself. Birdsong, sun, air and the beauty of his loved ones – the closest to the distant admiration that he took so wrong. But now he knows they care, they all care…



About Dawnings:
“Every morning at around 5am I get up and go down to my studio. After a short meditation I write down whatever is in my head, giving myself fifteen minutes to do so. Then moving over to the piano, I improvise and record a piece of music inspired by whatever words I just wrote. It is a great way of keeping both my writing and my composing going and I call these small creations Dawnings. They are mostly unedited, like sketches, so that they keep that fresh feeling of an early morning discovery.”

— Nick Hooper