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?