It's 7:36 am and I've been up for hours. The first hint of morning light hit my brain like a laser beam, so I acquiesced to the new day. Miss Mocha had other ideas, ones that involve sleep and mamma's bed and sleep and "oh isn't this the best pillow ever?" Needless to say, I would be companionless until she was good and ready.
Seems the day wanted to ease in gently, so I resisted the urge to make coffee and opted for a shower. Standing with eyes closed under a warm stream of water, gentle steam and soapy bubbles rocked me awake in the kindest way. You can keep your Big Ben alarm clock, thank you very much.
I raised the bedroom window to let in cool morning air. It's too early for birdsong but the breeze is enough to sway summer leaves, creating brushstrokes of sound so subtle I'd of missed it if I hadn't been listening. These are sacred moments to hold in escrow, a counterbalance to other times when discord is the song of the morning.
A seemingly sleep-sodden dog bolts upright the moment I pull shoes from the bottom of the closet. How does she know? She just does and that's but one of the many reasons I love her. Roused abruptly, she pauses as if needing a verbal clue as to what to do with these four feet and what about this tail? Should I wag? When I ask her if she wants to go O-U-T, that's all the prompting needed. "Oh yeah, that's what these feet are for...going up the stairs, to the door, to the yard, to the glorious smells of the morning."
[sidebar] It's true, I don't know what she's thinking most of the time, but it's entertaining to write dog dialogue and since I have digits and can use them to type words, I get to put them in her mouth...words that is, not digits.
The woods are a dusky blur except for the occassional patch of morning light peeking through dense growth, illuminating a young paw-paw tree heavy with fruit. A flash of red catches my eye as a female cardinal flies through the beam of light, only to dissolve into the canopy of branches overhead. I walk alone, but not truly alone in these woods. Mocha lingers over fragrant traces of unseen animals who have moved undeterred in the night. Her nose leads her on a zig-zag path, drunk by the heady fragrances, unknowingly wandering off the trail and out of sight. I call to her several times...sniffus interruptus. [your Latin lesson for the day]
We emerge from the woods onto the dam where swirls of mist are dancing atop the surface of the lake. They resemble the perfect peaks of my mother's meringue, a swathe of curl-e-ques suspended in perpetuity. Yet these are moving, drawn to the center of the lake only to be twirled back to shore and into the flow toward center, again and again.
I feel myself being pulled into their reverie, but it's too early for this kind of headiness. I'd be lost for the day and found sleeping in the woods, surrounded by a fairy circle. A cleansing breath helps to lessen the dizziness and right my brain. I look up to survey the sky. The rising sun has breached the east ridge (which lies to my back) and is illuminating the highest point along the western ridge, articulated by soaring white oak, beech and hickory trees, each a different shade of green, each a monument lit up for this moment.
I blink in disbelief, but in the presence of such holiness, I know I am lost for the day.