Lately I've taken to sitting on the back deck in the morning, watching and listening to the world wake up. I pay a lot more attention to the process than I used to.
This morning I went out early, so the only light at first was from the moon. I could only see the outline of the trees that surround our pasture in the distance and thought, "That could be a mountain range out there from the looks of it, if I didn't know better."
I gave a little thought to the wonder of mountains. Soon the sky to the northeast began turning a light pink, signaling some sort of bird in the meadow to begin chirping a non-melodic tune. As light gradually came to the day, I saw pairs of birds flying about. A few coyotes yipped out a chorus briefly, and a lone turkey gobbled out of season. The sound of a train floated to me from across the river. We have trains running by regularly at the back of our place, but this was farther away. I thought about how my dad, after he and my mom moved to our place when he had cancer, hated the sound of trains. This baffled me, because I love hearing a train. Perhaps he was just having problems sleeping because of the discomfort cancer brings, or was troubled knowing what was probably in his future.
Next the birds with more of a talent for tuneful songs were waking up, and in the distance I heard a crow cawing. The crows on our place are very cautious, so they are often heard but seldom seen. I wish they'd come out and let me see them sometimes.
You can always tell when the sunrise is going to be spectacular; it promised to be a beauty today, turning from light pink to a brighter shade and brightening up the sky. It takes clouds to make a pretty sunrise, and it seems as though most mornings there are a few clouds in the east, even on days that turn out to be cloudless later on. I like to think the Creator arranges that for those of us who are early risers.
I used to take pictures of sunrises, but I finally came to realize that the pictures only trivialize a huge thing by making it small. I've often thought that if a sunrise (or yes, a sunset too) were something you had to travel thousands of miles to see, we'd all be booking a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see such a spectacle. I've probably mentioned that before on my blog.
When Cliff gets up, there are times I just can't keep to myself my enthusiasm at how wonderful the morning was, and what a lovely sunrise I beheld. His stock answer is, "I can see the same thing in the evening when the sun is setting; it looks the same."
Well yes, the appearance is very similar, but you miss out on the sounds of nature waking up with the day.
When I'm out there in the early morning watching and listening, all is right with the world. I don't think about the election or politics in any form, nor aches and pains in my body; all the negative stories from the news are forgotten. There's just a rightness about it all. I think the practice of meditating has helped me learn to be "in the moment" for that space of time... no past, no future, only each minute as it ticks by. I thank God for that experience.