Thursday, March 18, 2010

SWEET SUNRISE

Sunrise.
After many years of having to drag my reluctant carcass from the sack, always as late as possible, and for the next two hours ply it with strong doses of caffeine—I now get up, on my own, willingly, without threat or cajoling, in time to see that first hint of light in the eastern darkness and say: Hey, buddy…what took you so long?
Who wudda thunk!
What's more I like being up early, before the sun. I truly enjoy watching night turn into day, and love the soft but dramatic transition of the sun's rebirth. For me, dawns are almost spiritual.
Moreover, I'm practically on a first-name basis with the neighborhood squirrels who seldom beat me in making that first reconnoiter around the yard. Moon the dog goes off on her own business as I and the resident bushytails exchanged pleasantries, while cardinals churt from the tangles and a robin begins tuning up for the soon-to-rise sun.
Now I sip and savor coffee instead of depending on it to start my heart.
For the past couple of days I've been working at my desk and filling every other minute when I wasn't with outdoor chores—puttering about the cottage, raking and cleaning the yard, preparing planting beds, and occasionally just sitting in the rocking chair on the deck watching the river hurry past. And yes, for those of you who'd like an update, the river is still going down, maybe two feet yesterday, though there's yet five or so feet remaining before it reaches normal pool. Bottom line, though, is the high-water threat has, for now, passed.
Today is supposed to be clear, bright sun, temperatures in the low-60s. At the moment it is 39˚F. The Canada geese out on the river are making an awful racket, as the sun varnishes the sycamores along the far bank with golden light. Moon and I have been up for a couple of hours, trying not to wake Myladylove who always sleeps in on her day off.
There's still some frost on the greening grass and piles of leaves. Later today, after they've dried out a bit, I'll load the leaves in the wheelbarrow and dump them on the compost pile. I'm hacked off because, when I initially stepped out before first light, I realized I'd forgotten to take the suet cakes and their wire holders down and place them in secure overnight storage in the metal cans where I keep the rest of the bird foods…and that the marauding raccoon, making its usual rounds, apparently noticed my error and stole suet, cage, and chain hanger. The whole shebang is missing, which makes it two for the year, drat it!
Still, morning has come again. A new day. I'm still here. The sun is up, the temperature is rising, the river is falling, flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing. Plus, there's another—third—cup of good fresh coffee awaiting in the pot. What more can a man ask?
———————

26 comments:

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Oh my - lovely morning rise - coffee, and first light - wild things about - doing what they do perfectly - conversations with nature while anticipating the day of sun and blue sky and promise. :-) Wonderful.

I am still on the mend from my inflamation in the right sacorilliac oint - it is better but I am being VERY cautious.
Gracey-Blue and I will walk about the woods edge for a stretch and set by the fst running brook and pond - watching the ducks and other natural inhabitants. I am filled with gratitude for such simple, natural and life-giving blessings as I heal.

Enjoy your day with your lady-

Love Gail
peace.....

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I love sunrises and watching the day change from night to morning. This time if years sunrises take on even more grace than usual, I feel. Winter is over, a new day is bright and warm. The woods are quiet. What more can anyone ask?

Carolyn H

Lorac said...

Your morning scenario was well written. Sorry to hear Mr. Coon got your suet feeder again. I am sure it is nothing personal! Glad the threat of rising water is over too! Enjoy your coffee!

Tramp said...

I've found it better to rise on my first awakening, which at this time of year here is still before dawn. If I sleep in, it's more difficult to get up and I feel worse when I do.
At the other end of day I need to get to bed in good time, for me an hour before midnight is equivalent to two hours after. However my lady wife is often working way into the night, that is when she gets her best ideas and is most motivated. What's important is to know what you need and how you can use the mind and body we have been given to its best effect.
Hope you enjoy that 3rd cup of coffee, I hit the tea in the morning.
(I started a few entries of my own. Pop over, I'll put the kettle on)
Tramp

KGMom said...

Well, sorry the raccoon outsmarted you, but he (or she) has to eat too.

So, what accounts for the rising conversion?

I have gone the other direction--now that I no longer have first thing in the morning classes, I enjoy sleeping in.
Dawn? yes, I've seen it, and love it, but the warm bed is so much more enticing, especially with a cat curled up next to me.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Just take it easy and enjoy—and give things time to heal. That's always my problem, trying to hurry healing along. Nothing replaces time.

We've been out working in the yard all day, and I can sure tell there's been a layoff re. such physical labor. But the yard is shaping up—not done, but getting there.

Be good. Mind your doctors. Listen to your body. And have fun with that cute pup.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

There is something special about spring's sunrises…a new day, new season, new life. Everything from trees to frogs to birds to grizzled old scribblers feel the vernal magic. It is all so lovely and wonderful!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lorac…

I believe it may well be personal between me and Mr. Coon, from both sides of the feeder-filching fence. But he got last night's fair and square; I messed up, he didn't.

Chalk one up for Br'er Coon!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

I have to get up when I wake up—not because I'll go back to sleep, but because what wakes me is usually a variety of pains, mostly back. There's no return to sleep when that happens. But…I've usually slept my normal 6 hours, so all is well. I turn in about 11 most night—or after I've answered comments here. (Which is probably why some sound rather loopy.)

I switch between tea and coffee, depending on mood or weather or possibly something mysterious which remains below my radar. Loose tea, fresh-ground coffee—I'm happy with either, really.

(BTW, I will get over for a visit…and hold you to that tea!)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

This get-up-time changeover happened a decade. And I honestly don't know what happened. But one day I realized I was up and it was barely dawn and that it had been barely dawn when I got up for many mornings past.

I used to sit up all night, sleep a few hours (4-5) and that was it—I was off for the day. But now, I sleep 5-6 and get up before dawn. Couldn't sleep in if I tried (and have tried, BTW) so call it age, contrariness, common sense, or changing from the nocturnal to the diurnal—you got me.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Life is good - and all the better to hear you describe it.

Bernie said...

Hi Grizz, I am feeling a bit lazy as I am not up to watch very many sunrises.....Wanda has the same habits as you and they are very healthy......although the smell of coffee may wake me up.
I am a night person and like to start my day slowly....like ease into it but then I pack it with as much as I can before I turn in.
I will enjoy the descriptions from two of my favorite bloggers, and your sunrise and morning did sound wonderful.
We still have snow, and it will be a while yet before I can prepare flower beds, I am looking forward to the Spring and all the beauty it brings........:-) Hugs

Jayne said...

Funny, but yesterday when I went out to put two more suet logs in my Supper Dome feeder, one of the wire holders where they go was missing. I looked all around the base of the feeder, as I knew it had probably simply fallen off, but no bracket. Hmmmm.... guess it got carried away by something too!

Wanda said...

I could have written this, well actually that's not true, I just mean I always have to be up before the sun...I'm a predawn person! Pocahontas is in my family tree, I think that has something to do with it.
We have leaves waiting to be transferred to the compost pile and Mr Raccoon tore doen the suet feeder here too.
I'm stretching here....but we're waitng for water to lower too...certain areas in the field need to be avoided by my grandson on his dirt bike till that happens!
Meanwhile, the Daffodils have buds and the Bluebirds have returned.
What more could a woman ask?.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Life is still good…but after all the yard work yesterday, my body is one big mass of aches and pains and sore muscles. Uggghhh!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Like I said to KGMom, until this change came about, I was also a night person. I liked to work/play/stay up all night, getting into bed about 5 a.m. and then sleeping until 9:30-10:00 a.m. And I was that way even during childhood. My parents couldn't get me to sleep, though until I was maybe 12, they'd make me go to bed by 11:00 p.m. After that, they just sort of gave up, I think.

I was never a party person, though; didn't hang out in bars or clubs. I just stayed up. I seldom watched TV, except for the occasional late movie. Mostly I'd listen to music or read, a novel-per-night, sometimes even starting a second book. I still like to read novels in one big chunk, and I'm sure that where the habit developed.

Like you, I was a slow starter come morning—or what, for me, amounted to morning. Give me my coffee, and give me time to sit and sulk and blink and try and decided which way was up, whether or not I was alive, while assessing my possibilities for immediate survival. No breakfast. I had the I.Q. of a rutabaga for the first hour or so—then things kicked in and I was ready to go at full blaze for the next 20 hours, or 45 if the situation demanded. I regularly used to stay up two days in a row.

Not anymore! Either all that caught up with me, or I got stalked and smitten with common sense. I get up clear headed, perky, capable of speech and even conversation, and can, if need be, write a letter or column without whatever I write embarrassing me later.

And here's the real kicker…I like the new me, and my early morning routine. I actually enjoy and look forward to each and every sunrise.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Well, I found yesterday's missing suet feeder. But I had another disappear more than a month ago which has stayed missing in spite of several thorough searches. It's bad enough to lose the suet cake—but actual feeder thievery is just plain unacceptable. I've communicated this message to local raccoons and have no doubt they're now trembling in fear… :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I don't think I noticed any buds on my daffodils when I was working in the yard yesterday—but I might not have paid close enough attention. There are buds on everything else, it seems. I have lots of crocus—white, purple, purple-and-white-striped, yellow—blooming, and more coming up all the time.

The river is almost down to normal pool—maybe another foot—and only slightly muddied. We got a lot of the yard cleaned up yesterday and it's looking pretty good. I'm anxious to start planting—seeds, plants—but I know there'll be at least one or two more cold spells ahead, probably even a bit of snow. So I'm trying to restrain myself.

I'm up in the pre-dawn anymore, too (usually about 5:45 a.m.) and wouldn't go back to my old ways for anything. I always did like early mornings—just seldom managed them except from the other direction. My Grandfather Williams arose at 5:00 a.m. every morning of his life. Mom and Dad always got up before 6:00, and Mom would bake biscuits and get breakfast ready while Day shaved and dressed for work. A lot of my aunts who lived in town (Mom's sisters; none of Dad's kin lived in Ohio) were up about Grandpa's time. I was like the only lazy, lay-a-bed, nocturnal creature in the family. Even the cat slept more of a night than me.

Your Pocahontas ancestry is neat. My bloodline is almost entirely Irish (even Grandpa Williams's mother was Irish) and all came to American in the mid-1600s to early-1700s, settling first in the Virginia area and moving down the spine of the Appalachians as the wilderness opened. (Two great grandfathers and some great uncles accompanied Boone to Boonesboro; later, several were killed, along with one of Boone's sons, in the Battle of Blue Licks.) So lots of tie-ins with Colonial, Revolutionary War, Civil War history. I've been trying to put as much of this together as I can over the last few years. I seem to be the only one interested in it at the moment—but maybe one day down the road, someone else will appreciate the material. Plus, it's just fun for me right now.

Hey, I've had bluebirds around much of the winter. But not a single cowbird yet. Not complaining.

Joy K. said...

Perhaps you'll run across the suet cage. We found ours, about 4 months after it was stolen by raccoons, under the house.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Just popped in to say hello and to get a dose of river lore from your wonderful blog Scribe. Still suffering back pain but managing to read a few blogs today - as usual yours in very uplifting - and I love that squirrel. Thanks for cheering me up.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Joy K…

Hey, I found the one missing feeder from yesterday, but one that disappeared a couple of months before has so far stayed missing, and believe me, I've looked. However, I figure sooner or later it will turn up. And I'm thinking under my front deck is probably where my missing feeder has been dumped. Just hasn't been the kind of weather (mud, ice) where I wanted to crawl in far enough to see.

(Sorry to be so slow in replying to your comment—I've been out rambling all day.)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I do hope the back pain eases off. Spring and your walks and all the greening lands and changing seasons are too pretty to miss. Moreover, your presence here and on your lovely blog has certainly been sorely missed. So GET WELL SOON!

And drop by the river any time you need cheering up…I'll do my best to accommodate!

Rebecca said...

Griz, I am like your old self. I would stay up all night if I can. I love the silence of the dead of night. I feel like I can hear myself think. As the world starts to stir at about 5am, I would be ready for sleep. Hence it is rare that I catch a sunrise.

When I walked the camino in Spain in Oct 2009, sunrise was at early 8ish, and I would already be walking by 8am. It seemed to me then that each glorious sunrise compete with the one before.

A line of a hymn I know comes to mind ".. Each morning You give us again the torch of light and joy ..", and those moments were for me the most intensely spiritual as I had ever experienced; and in a profound way, I had felt deeply connected to life.

Now, back in the city, I treasure the silence of the nights, but I look forward to one day exchanging this for the beauty and calm of new mornings.

Enjoy.
Rebecca

Genny said...

I love your description of the peacefulness of early morning. I can't wait to retire so I can do the same thing. Start my day slow watching the sunrise, savor my coffee, before starting out to accomplish some chores in the house or yard. Lovely composition.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rebecca…

First off, please forgive me this long-delayed response to your wonderful comment. Went to bed early last night, got up before dawn this morning, but had only an hour to breakfast, shower, and get on the road…and we've only just returned.

I used to do the all-night routine, and really, for the same reasons you've outlined. I loved the cloistered feel of the night, the silence, the ability to be in my own head, reading, writing, thinking. I've always craved solitude.

But—and this has always been the case—I always loved being up watching darkness give way to dawn…and dawn to full sunrise…and then morning taking over. Whenever I was traveling, I always wanted to be on the road—somewhere well beyond my home area—as the new day arrived. It's like the curtain coming up on a new life, resurrection, rebirth, renewal, and brand spanking new, all four in one. It energizes me, fills me with hope and purpose, and stirs me spiritually like no other time of day. I feel incredibly, wonderfully, thankfully alive at dawn.

I don't know the hymn you quoted—or at least don't recall that line…but it is right on and quite lovely.

I hope you do make the night-to-dawn change. You'll enjoy the difference, I think…and you'll still have some of that dark quite to savor—especially during the winter months.

Again, I'm sorry for being so slow to reply…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Genny…

I feel exactly the same way. Which, I wouldn't have believe possible a decade ago. But I do l find myself wanting to get to bed early because I'm excited about getting up early and enjoying the solitude of the coming morning…and really, where I live is quite and peaceful more or less all the time. But there's still that special quality of the darkness/dawn/morning that is simply not to be missed.