• Justin Key

Behind the Title - These Are the Days

"These Are the Days" by Van Morrison

One of the rare moments when peace on Earth exists, the serenity of dawn is immeasurable. Chaos settles in the night and while the world clings to a fading dreamland a new day has begun like a mother navigating her house upon realizing her kids outslept her for once. The sky begins to glow and, with the pace of sap on a January maple, gradually reveals a landscape in slumber that it dares not disturb. The moment is delicate, the Earth is on the brink of consciousness as the sun peeks above the horizon to find a pacified world. Delighted, it creeps into the sky cautiously, flooding the world with color praying not to chase the tranquility away. As the light extends across the Earth, the warmth of a new day cascades over the landscape. A brisk calm lingers, holding patiently to savor the peace still glistening with the dew.


Van Morrison could easily have been in a similar position when he wrote: "These Are the Days". Mother Nature couldn't have composed a better intro for a Tuscan sunrise herself. It starts gentle and soft to awaken one as peacefully as a lullaby could lay one down. Drums and a violin add a pulse, giving life to the day as the colors start bursting from the landscape. The lyrics are patient, reveling in the stillness before honoring the magnificence on display.


"These are the days of the endless summer These are the days, the time is now There is no past, there's only future There's only here, there's only now"


The fortune of this sunrise in Tuscany was not lost on me. Europe is not a place I get to often so every moment was made all the more spectacular by its fleeting nature. Concealed on the hillside, my camera lay in waiting for the purpose of my presence was the experience itself. To see the rolling green hills of the fabled Italian countryside glowing in the morning light was akin to seeing the Grand Canyon for me and was made all the more special by sharing the moment with my wife.


"These are days of the endless dancing And the long walks on the summer night These are the days of the true romancing When I'm holding you, oh, so tight"


The lyrics speak to the wonder of the moment as the melody paints the splendrous scene on display. The high, gentle plucking mimics the sunrays tickling the wheat fields through the clouds with an Italian flair that could've easily been a local riffing from a nearby farmhouse. Van Morrison builds at times throughout the song as if overcome by the magnificence before him. It brings visions of a higher power that has not just gifted the moment but is there to share in it as well.


"These are the days by the sparkling river His timely grace and our treasured find This is the love of the one magician Turned the water into wine, oh yeah"


One of the reasons I embarked on the landscape photography path was due to my love for travel. I believe it's a vital component of wellness. Traveling removes you from your comfort zone and opens your eyes to the world. It's a gateway to new experiences and a great way to reconnect with humanity. That love for travel is one that many share but a little inspiration is needed from time to time. By capturing the beauty found through my adventures I hope to encourage others to see more of the world for themselves and build a collection of memories that live on for eternity. "These Are the Days" is the embodiment of that message.


"These are the days now that we must savor And we must enjoy as we can These are the days that will last forever You've got to hold them in your heart"