There is so much I might have missed this morning if I hadn’t got up early! I awoke at 5:45 am and hit the snooze until 6:00 before I got up to start a fire for my tea. This is but the second morning that it was simply too warm to have a fire in the house and given that there is a burn ban I rushed to fire the outdoor hearth before dawn. Though it is unlikely that I would have a problem with the small fire in the stone hearth, even if they saw the smoke, I prefer to err to the good. Why test that if I don’t have to. The fire quickly came to life and as I stood up and took in the first glimpse of the day I saw the full moon, golden in the dawn, just as it readied to slip behind the mountains to the south. The moonset is always a thrill and a rare treat to behold. Too often it has disappeared before I find it and this morning, in its fullness, it sheds an even greater beauty on the moment and I stayed there to watch.
Even as the moon left the sky, pausing to glow on the rim of the mountain before it was gone, the light of the dawn began to paint the northern sky. Two ravens passed silently on their morning flight and a lone dog coyote, his bark sharp and brief and too masculine to be mistaken for the high long call of the females, announced the day. His bark went unanswered. Still in my robe I wandered down to the garden, savoring the peaceful dawn and not ready to retreat to the house. The morning air stood at 50 degrees and it was nearly as warm as last night when I watered the garden by the moonlight, unwilling to go inside even then. This is spring and winter is losing its final hold and even if we are due one more cold chill perhaps it is past. The fruit trees froze early this year and the damage is already done and this will be the year that there should have been fruit.
I flood the garden again for good measure as the seeds I planted last week are breaking ground and I want to give them good purchase. They will know the drought later on. Once the plants have started and gained their grasp on life, I will let them dry a bit so they will drop their roots into the ground for that deeper moisture and then all will be well. My son said I need a booster pump so I can run a sprinkler and soak the ground but he doesn’t know the time I spend doing just that by hand, or the pleasure that comes with it. What else have I to do in the evenings, or the early day when I don’t even need an excuse to be out of doors and so gladly perform such tasks. What greater joy is there than to listen to the rattle of the water against the hollow leaf of the garlic, and later, the rustle of the corn. I would plant corn just for that, to listen to the scrape of the leaves against each other in the wind and to sit and watch it grow. Later on I will savor the crisp sweetness of its ears when they are done.
There is a list in my mind of all the joys that surround me here and I wonder how anyone can live without them for I surely cannot. In just this morning there has been moon and sky, ravens and coyotes, the bright green of garden and trees against the golden brittleness of the drought stricken hills. With it came the brilliant splash of purple from my iris and the warm breath of wood smoke coupled with my honey sweetened tea. Such are my mornings here, all before I dressed or even made my bed. I stood outside in the early dawn, clad only in my warm robe as the cool breeze touched my bare legs, new neighbors be damned. They will have to get over it or look somewhere else, I was here first! I prefer my solitude but will have to come to accept their presence and in the end it will be I who goes away in search of greater solitude I am sure. It will be the views that I will miss the most for I imagine I will go to Candy’s and the relative security that it will have to offer; or not? As transient as I have always been I yearn for a sense of permanence and have yet to find it though I must believe there is a reason for that beyond my own fickle nature. Only time will tell. One thing is for certain, wherever I am there must be mountains, coyotes and the wide open sky that I may greet the dawn as I have today and that it will be there to meet me as well.