Early, early morning, still dark. Why do we wake up at such a ridiculous hour? I will sit on the sofa surfing the internet while it is unlimited until 8am and writing on the laptop. Daylight will slowly creep through the darkness, quietly illuminating the outside world with a blue hue that incrementally grows in intensity, until the sunlight banishes the darkness for another glorious day. I have a steaming cup of fresh coffee and an apple cider doughnut. What more could a person want this early in the morning?! My whole existence is centered around the coffee and sugar explosion, apple sweet melting in my mouth. Aaaaahhhhhhh.
Woke up this morning before first light (not as early in the morning this time of year), heard the cold wind blowing outside the window. I often stay in bed after waking and watch the first faint blue light of sunrise slowly illuminate the pre-dawn dark sky behind the bare branches then keep watching in anticipation as it creeps down the hill toward my window. Surprise, there is a scattering of icy crystalline snow on the leaf covered ground. It catches the blue morning light and reflects almost imperceptible purple back at the sleeping bare forest. I know later it will melt under the full force of the sun, even if the temperature doesn’t top freezing, but for now, it is whispering a song of winter in my ears and teasing my eyes with its twinkling sparkle.
Old Man Max Cat has my husband up early every morning. Sometimes I get up with them, other times I stay in bed, curled cozy warm under the down comforter. All the cats get up with Max and run around the house like lunatics (we call them lunacats). Although, if I stay in bed long enough, sometimes one or more cats will come join me in a comfortable cushion of cuddly contentedness. This morning Max came back. Apparently he was trying to help my husband type so he got unceremoniously dismissed from the home office. Old Man Max Cat gingerly jumped up on the bed, back legs scrabbling to get his body all the way up. He isn’t as spry as he used to be so I help him. He then sticks his cold wet nose into the crook of my neck and paws at the top of the blankets. I roll over to get away from that persistent cold wet nose. He walk around to stand in front of my face and howls. He’s deaf now and has no voice modulation. I look him in the eyes and he stares back as if to say “You know what I want. I’m going to win, so you should just give me what I want!”. So I lift the cover and he crawls under, brushing my face with his long furry tail. He executes an about face somewhere near my belly, all silky soft fur. Then creeps up so just his head is out in the air, purring loudly, whiskers tickling my cheeks. I roll so my arm is around him but but supported by the bed so as to not crush him. Completely content, we both drift off to slumber land.
Our old cat likes to wake us up around 4:30 am for his morning meal. For a variety of reason, we acquiesce to this demand. I usually clean out the cat litter when I get up and normally wait until it’s light out to take it to the trash. However, this morning, I ventured out into the quiet, frosty darkness, bundled in only a fleece robe over flannel pajamas and wearing wool slippers. My breath bursts forth in little billowing white clouds that quickly dissipate into the night. This late or early all is silent. Night animals are going to sleep and morning animals haven’t awaken yet, and there are no other lights in the houses or on the road. Walking back toward the stairs to go inside, I glance up momentarily and am stunned into stillness like a marble statue. Stars! The stars have my undivided attention. Zillions of brilliant, dazzling, sparkling stars reflecting in my glittering eyes, sensational star song rushes over me, bathes me in starlight. Pure rapture!
I had a glorious walk this morning, up the hollow and back again. I am bundled against the morning chill, as much of the valley stays in shadow until afternoon. Today I saw a plethora of birds. Mergansers were playing in the riffles near the bridge, floating downstream, bobbing on the ripples, then flying back upstream to do it over again. A kingfisher calls out its annoyance of the quiet intrusion of my presence on the road above the creek. It dashes into flight chattering away into the distance. Blue Jays, Crows, and Ravens raucously jeer and heckle as I pass by. Chick-a-dees, Juncos, Titmice, Cedar Waxwings flitter and chitter in the tree branches and underbrush. I see the bright red of a male Cardinal flashing as he flees my company. I know his mate is nearby, but her camouflage hides her well and I do not find her. A Great Blue Heron takes flight, its huge graceful wings flapping wildly, long spindly legs dangling, as it lifts up, flies a short distance, and glides back to stand at the water’s edge. I can never be lonely walking this road, because I am never actually alone!
Another morning walk, up the road to the new bridge that got built a year after Hurricane Irene washed the 100 year old iron one downstream. I know where some pieces of it is buried in the new gravel sand bars and (still present) storm debris. I stand on the bridge for a long time, first looking upstream at the boulders, deep pools, rapids and small falls, then downstream at the swimming hole, the gravel bars, and the riffles disappearing around the next bend. I think of long hot summer days spent floating on an inner-tube and dozing in the sun, remember jumping off the boulder into the green depths where the large trout hide, recall lazing on sun heated rocks after splashing in the waterfall, slipping and sliding on slick rocks. This is a peaceful spot, happy, carefree. Today is too chilly to think of immersing myself in the creek, but it is a fine morning to watch the slanting yellow rays of the sun rising over the ridge, streaming through the orange and yellow leaves, setting them aglow. The sun shine glints off the rippling water below, clear of algae after a couple of freezing night have killed it off. The sand and rocks are clearly visible, yet wobbly as the water flows swiftly over them. I am momentarily blinded by sun light glaring off the creek, making my eyes tear up slightly. The reflected sunlight makes me feel warm inside, happy, and calm. I am that sunlight, it radiates from me in all directions, shining fiercely with my love and life force. I am the water flowing fast and free, I am the morning air stirring the leaves and whispering down the valley. I am me, I am here, I am now.
I had a doctor’s appointment today to discuss the biopsy results. I have breast cancer. Needles to say, this news scared that crap out of me; the bottom fell out and my whole world came to a violent crushing halt. The amazing, life saving fact that it has been caught exceptionally early; it’s stage 0 in-situ, doesn’t really sink in. I am simultaneously frightened, depressed, angry, frustrated, defeated, and flabbergasted. WTF!!? When we get home I cry myself into a numb sleep, waking up a groggy hour or so later.
I know that I need to stay positive and keep the negative self defeating thoughts at bay. Our immune systems don’t work when we are upset and depressed, and mine needs to work double time now. I look through some pictures I took earlier this morning while walking up the hollow. I let the peaceful serenity of that moment permeate my senses. I calm down and mellow out remembering the way the slanting silvery yellowish sunbeams came streaming through the dark hemlock trees and branches, randomly illuminating the sinuous mist in an intricate delicate patchwork of bright lights and dark shadows. I again feel the cool clinging dampness of the humid morning and hear the gurgling hissing rumble of the creek flowing over rocks.
I know I will need these magic moments more than ever now.