I have accumulated quite a collection of photos of the beautiful skies in the morning as well as in the evening, where pinks, purples and oranges are prevalent. In the morning, it's yellows and golds, mixed with a silver shimmer from the clouds.
However, this particular morning, as I watched my sister-in-law gallop down the stairs and stride to the awaiting school bus at the end of the block, a different vision passed through my mind. A memory from the storage banks of a rather different beginning to the day.
Each and every morning here in Malaysia is roughly the same: the sun is still rising over the Philippines and it's mythological ancestral home, Japan, 'the land of the rising sun,' at 6am. As thousands of children scurry to school to begin early morning classes, there lingers a cool, refreshing zephyr, a pleasant atmosphere compared to the sweltering heat of the later day.
As the hour ticks by the sun slowly rises and the temperature gradually increases until it reaches it's general pinnacle of 32 degrees C (36 degrees C on a really hot day) at the lunch hour.
And so I arrive at the alternative vision which flashed my brain receptors early this morning while many people were yet fast asleep. What if, by some freak of nature, some horrendous side-effect of global warming, we woke up to observe a blanket of thick, brilliant white snow covering the ground. I remember it well from back in England.
What if these school children could see the beauty of a white world, with millions of unique snowflakes softly, silently, floating their way downwards to the ground.
What if our school children could experience the delightful crumpling sound of stepping on ground snow. The trail of footprints they would leave behind.
They could even make 'snow angels' in the snow (by lying flat on the back and moving the arms and legs as though doing a star jump). Imagine the glee if our school children could just once wrap up in a thick, warm coat, a scarf, gloves and a bobble hat, and feel the ice-cold, pinching air on their noses and fingertips.
What if our school children could scoop up a pile of this white stuff, and fashion it into a snowball and experience the thrill of a snowball fight. What if our school children could make a snowball and roll it up like a carpet in the snow, eagerly watching it get bigger and bigger and bigger until it's too heavy to push and has grown to the height of the children themselves. What if they could then roll up another ball, a smaller one, and place it on top, creating a snowman. Then they could use the giant snowman as a target for their snowballs.
What if our school children could experience an early-morning journey to school like no other before. The school bus would drive slowly in the snow, leaving deep treadmarks, tracing it's path to the destination.
Imagine the chatter and sheer excitement on their faces. Imagine if the school bus had frozen out, the engine couldn't get started, and so the children could just play in the snow all morning until their hands and feet became too numb to continue!
What if our school children could look out at the snow glistening brightly as the sun comes up and sheds it's magnificent light over this new white world.
These young eyes may never get the chance to behold such scenes.
But what if...