I hate getting up before dawn, but...I love getting up before dawn.
Frankie roosted on the woodpile last night, perched on a piece that stuck up a few inches, like a mini-branch. I remembered it this morning just as the treetops became visible, so I went to the window to check on him. There he was, already up and pecking at bugs on the sill. Beyond him I saw that the outside world was bathed in a soft blue light; it drew me out the back door onto the deck. A deer started in the clearing below me - I caught a glimpse of him before he turned his white tail to me and disappeared into the trees. It was quiet; the world was yawning, stretching, preparing to kick off the covers and get started on the day.
I was reminded of sunrises on the Houston Ship Channel - absolutely gorgeous on a clear autumn morning! I remember standing near the cooling tower at the Dupont chemical plant where I worked years ago, clipboard in hand, checking the readings on the pumps, but distracted by the awakening dawn on the horizon. Vivid purples, pinks, blues, and oranges shoved the night away; the reflection splashed across the still water of the channel. Lights from distant chemical plants sparkled and pelicans glided low along the surface, ready for breakfast. Mornings like that helped me get through the rest of the twelve-hour shift, no matter what else happened.
It's September. It says so on the calendar, but I can also feel it in the air - a slight crispness, a hint of cool mornings not far away. The sky is even a different shade of blue. It carries me back to those first-week-of-school mornings, trudging the long Meadowlake sidewalk to my elementary school, metal lunchbox in hand. I don't remember what kind I had - that surprises me. It surprises me I don't still have it.
The dogs are frisky on our walk this morning; Max prances and pounces on Charly, and Charly puts up with it. They feel the crispness, the promise in the air, too. The wind on my sleeveless arms actually raises goosebumps and "jacket" crosses my mind. But by the time I turn and head back home, the sun has risen higher above the hills and the wind has died down. It's still summer in Texas...but not for long.