Shafts of dawn sunlight through the primordial stone monoliths of Stonehenge are bound to draw expressions of awe from onlookers. Sunlight through the rose window of the cathedral of Chartres elicits the same awe. There is a splendor in symmetry, coincidence, expectation.

But when a bundle of dawn sunlight rays hits the wall behind me there is similar, though muted, awe. The wall is white and unpatterned — no precious crystal or amulet to refract the light, no geometric design or wallchart with a magic coincidence contrived like a sundial. Just the magic of affirmation, of silent but bright announcement: a new day, a confirmation of what makes the universe work. And then the shaft of light breaks up into a spray of light. No longer unusual, no long the character of a gift. Just sunlight, just me, wondering.