Thomm Quackenbush, author

Before the Dawn

It's almost dawn, or perhaps I wish it were. It's the darkest time just before the light and I wait for it to climb slowly over the mountains in my isolated town.

First rays. I have seen the lightening of the sky after night around a fire. The looks on the faces of those who have spent the night elsewhere and yet with their bodies. Within and Without. I have experienced purple turning to green turning to heather in the hills Scotland after the rains. I have watched dawn arrive to touch the valleys of India, to awaken the children from slumber under their makeshift homes. Blinding as it is sometimes, softening to purple as my train rumbles from the station into NYC.

I spent the last several days in exposed hiding. Exposed because sometimes to feel the safest we need to be at our most vulnerable. In hiding because the world is so much and despite my own power I am so small right now. I was rescued and let go. I was able to simply be. Not asked for anything, and allowed to speak as the spirit moved me. I am grateful and scared to go back, I am humbled and scared not to return.

I am so blessed to have amazing people in my life, to have caring and compassion and those who allow for my insanity. I have listeners and talkers, tea drinkers and coffee addicts. Children and adults and cats and dogs.

None of this makes much sense does it? It's almost dawn and even those who say to call at anytime are asleep. Their anytime and mine are different. I will not be that person, I will not be that...needy. A friend called me "strong," I will prove him correct. The red reminds me of my own power, my strength my tenacious body.

I remember... I try to remember. It is only an hour until the dawn and I will wait for it. Wait for the gray light as a reminder that it will always come back and that the serpent will wait again for the sunset, wrapping its tail around the world. With this sunlight there will be the hope that today is not the last of our days, that it is my mother I will see and not my father in the predawn light.


Emily is a strong woman fighting against her body and soul to earn her wings. She is or has been a nationally ranked blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do, a two time inducteee to the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, an animal control officer, a graduate student, and a groovy person.


Stars in the Daytime
Stars in the Daytime


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