A Cleft in the Rock
October 19, 1978, 4:30 A.M., 38°F, a thermos full of coffee, I’m wearing a wool hooded coat, the sky is getting lighter and I leave the house for the one mile walk along the sea wall to the end of Glades Road. It really isn’t the end of Glades Road, but there is a gate stretched across the road with a Private property sign stopping all non-natives from going any further. I’m not a non-native so I hurdle the gate and continue my walk through a narrow poorly paved path/road which leads to the end of the peninsula which points out at Minot Light, the famous 1—4—3 signal which had saved so many ships over the last two centuries from crashing on the infamous Cohasset ledges protecting the entrance to Cohasset Harbor.
About a half mile from the gate, a stone wall joins to the road and leads to the top of a raised ledge directly on the coast. Climbing along the wall brought me to the round top of the ledge and across it to the edge, 40 feet above the rocky shore beneath. At the very edge of the cliff was a V-shaped cutout with its base being a flat rock triangle. On the base I saw a broken piece of green glass, a piece from a Heineken bottle from some earlier party. At least they picked a quality beer. I cleaned up the pieces and sat down facing the ocean.
The sun was still below the razor sharp horizon in the East but there was enough light to read by, so I took the Jerusalem Bible New Testament paperback from my jacket pocket and opened it to my favorite part, the opening chapter of the Gospel of Mark. It is my favorite because it is the first Gospel written (65-75AD) and presents more unedited problems for the later Evangelists to have to deal with. I began to read: “Jesus came into Galilee proclaiming the good news of God, saying, ‘the time has been fulfilled for the Kingdom of God is within you. Change the way you think and believe this ‘good news’’”(Mk.1:14-15).
I put the book away and began to look at the glowing horizon to the East. I checked my watch. It was 5:15 A.M. my breathing calmed down, and began to flush any thoughts that came into my mind. Then a flash of brilliant light peaked over the razor’s edge but I didn’t think it was the sun “rising”, I knew better; it was the earth, on which I sat on this clear Friday morning, the earth ever so continuously rotating toward the East. I could “feel” it turning. For four minutes, the blazing ball of light cleared the ocean’s edge. My heart became very still, I was transported into a celestial body, feeling the warmth as the light bathed my body. I continued my silent vigil and the light from the sun splashed on the very small ripples on the ocean surface and reflected at an angle to my eyes in a dazzling blast of light. As I looked at it, it occurred to me for the very first time in my life just what I was looking at. It was a billion reflections of the sun itself, each reflection a separate mirror reflection of the perfect little disk of the sun. If the ocean had been as flat as a mirror, then what I would have seen would have been one disk, the sun itself in one reflection.
This is not a divine revelation, but it was a contemplative event. I was so grateful, all I could do was thank God that I got up at 4:30, and saw what God has done, for it was very, very good.