Staff Winner
Helen McElroy

On the bus home after work, I drifted. Staring through the window, barely registering the subtle shifts between sodium and neon lights; the rhythm of the slow, uphill grind, hydraulic groans, starts and stops a pranayama allowing my consciousness to wander away from the 58’s planned route. Unhooking my mind from now to then.

A desert convoy through the dark. The engine’s reassuring drone a low register, the air-con a higher hiss and the quiet of the deepest hours of night blanketing us.

I knew it was coming. Could feel the static stripping along my skin, taste the jitters and joy as from the faintest glimmer of, what…something… on the flat eastern horizon. Through the tiniest hint of a grey gauze, crept life, nourishment, Ra.

In those shooting golden moments fire roared its way into being, transforming dark nothing into ochre, shadow-streaked earth and azure sky, alighting us safely on the shore of the day.

I re-lived the birth of the world. Viscerally understanding why our ancestors worshipped this magnificence. Ra’s chariot burning a path heavenward for mean humans to bask, work, to live illuminated.

The bus was silent as the tourists slept on through time and space. But I swear I heard the fanfare of ancient deities as I watched the sun kiss our world that morning. Just me and the bus-driver to bear witness, and his eyes were on the road.

Find out more about Helen here.