Monday, June 27, 2011

Taking Time to Smell the Petunias

by Zinta Aistars

"An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Something stirs, some faint noise somewhere in the night, and I am awake. Awake. Nothing to be done about it. I attempt to sink back into that warm, velvet sleep, but it will not have me.

My mind begins to swirl behind closed eyes, and as the clock ticks toward dawn, I give it up ... I get up. Still deep dusk. Such stillness. Only my old chow pup gathers himself up from his sleep to follow me downstairs as I head for the coffee pot, set it brewing.

I may regret this later in the day, I think, but at this moment when the world is so still and renewed, I feel the peace of this new day. It's not yet 5 a.m., but I slip into sweats and attach the harness to the dog, and we head out early for our morning walk.

Hardly a light anywhere. Dark windows in all the neighbor houses. An occasional rabbit hops across our path, white cotton tail bouncing. Nowhere, no one, only a thousand birds singing in morning greeting. Listen to all of them ...

And by the time we return to the house, a pale, veiled light has spread across the sky. My white petunias open shy faces. New blossoms, green buds, and I have the gift of time to sit on the front step and do nothing, for a while more, than to admire them ... and to watch that pale light spread, thin the night and bloom the day, its face opening ever brighter, ever brighter.

A Monday awaits. Soon: the long drive north, traffic, flashing lights, that endless highway, key in my office door and the hum of a computer booting up. Work awaits. Meetings. Deadlines. Errands and chores.

But for now, I sit on the front stoop and sip coffee, its steam swirling, my dog at my knee, and watch the flowers open, the grass grow, the morning doves sway on the wire, a red wheelbarrow collect a soft dust of possibility.

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