Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Early Morning

At five in the morning, it is still dark when I climb down my ladder. There's a pink streak on the horizon, and birds are already singing. My routine is always the same. I come into the silent kitchen, boil water for tea, sit down at the wooden table, and write.

There is something sacred about the between-time, the transition from night into day, this dusky, quiet hour before the house and the world are quite awake. I love being awake to watch the day brighten before my eyes. The color of the sky changes and slowly the shapes of trees appear out of darkness. The sun rises over the fields behind the kitchen, and since I write facing west, the first I see of it is the reflection of light on the birches across the road, all of them bathed in a glowing orange-gold. That's when I put down my pen, take my mug of tea, and go stand by the backdoor to watch the light slide up over the trees and spill into the fields and the house.

On days like today, misty and grey, there is no sunrise. Just a gentle lightening of the shades of grey, the deep blues and blacks slowly fading into white, the day opening softly before me. The house is absolutely still. I walk slowly and quietly, so as not to disturb the magic of the hour. I do my best writing now, at dawn, in the space between yesterday and today, these before-breakfast hours free of responsibilities and obligations.

The changing of the light. Enough time to wake up slowly and fully, to ease into the morning. The company of creatures who don't speak: an orange cat, birds singing in all the trees. It is a great blessing, and a luxury, in these sweet dawn hours before chores, to witness the simple miracle of another day creeping into the world.

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