Friday, August 12, 2016

Early morning wake-up call



      At 5:30 am when I get up, the birds are going about their daily business. They are one chirp ahead of me. I fly into productivity at a considerably slower cruising speed.
     The sunrise is peeking through the uneven tree line scheduling another scorcher for Mother Earth. Daily heat and humidity have become as predictable as baseball games and hot dogs.
     My sleepy eyes need a few moments to acclimate. Never having been a quick  “rise and shine” type of person, I literally stumble about at my own pace. My body parts are similar to a car’s engine, which functions best fully lubricated. No snap, crackle and pop today, so I must be good to venture forth.
     The crack of dawn is the magical hour  — quite possibly earlier  — for writers of all sorts. My optimum writing happens then. There is no competition for pulling out my most inspired stuff as long as I stay away from my social media accounts.
    Allowing my thoughts to wander introduces me to more thoughts. You might say then that my writing is a wandering as if an adventure on an uncharted path.
     In fact, my book, “I’ll be Honest With You” came about from those few extra moments in-between other assignments. By the end of several months, I had collected enough short pieces for a book without so much as realizing what was happening, and all before 6 in the morning.
     First though, I have a little routine after I do my daily meditation.
     I sit for a few minutes in semi-darkness and just listen.      Possibly I have a few of the more common birds identified after all these years, especially the plentiful woodpeckers that circle our woods for the most desirable trees.
     The conversations can get pretty animated and I wonder if a neighboring cat is slithering nearby on dawn patrol and mama birds are protecting their young ones.
     My cat has been staying a little closer to the back porch these last two weeks with a fox taking up a transient location in the woods. The fox will move on, and until then my boy will keep vigilant when stepping outside on the back porch.
     Our yard has several birdfeeders, and often it is a full house. Swallows can invade our specialty bluebird homes, and then rooms are up for grabs. Filled. No vacancy.
     Staying still in a chair is not an easy thing to do without a lot of practice of letting your mind and body go. I find it is beneficial to breathe in and out deeply and watch how my facial muscles relax, a smile comes on and I sense an overall positive attitude.
     In the early morning it is amazing how everything feels possible and I am determined that I will be able to conquer whatever falls in my lap today. There is such strength to be had all for the taking.
     5:40 am a neighbor down the road bikes before the roads get crowded and the temperature rises. He has a giant loop he follows and part of it is on the main highway. The clicking of his wheels says he is passing by. I don’t have to look out the window and I continue with my meditation.
     Like the rest of us, he is not regular in his routines, and often days will go by before he rides by again. He’s had health issues, and on a “good day” he says he takes advantage of his endurance.
     He has had a string of healthy days lately and I pause to give thanks for his family and him.
     The neighborhood dogs bark in chorus when he passes, or could it be for a few deer crossing the road? They are permanent residents, too, and early morning is prime time for movement.
     The sound of birds is soothing to me, and especially in the message – enjoy summer. The days are longer, and more and more outdoor activities take on interest. Possibilities. I like that.
     I don’t allow myself to think about the weekend’s plans, or the vacation in Canada coming up soon, otherwise my anxiety level will rise and defeat the purpose of quiet and calmness in the morning. This is the world’s way of getting me off step and into its hustle and bustle.
     At 5:45 the steady stream of cars commuting to Rochester and Corning parade by on four wheels. I stand at the window and watch the red backlights brake before disappearing one after the other down the hill.
     Many folks have left for work before I even got out of bed, and this is the second round of vehicles. I wish them safe travels and successful days.
     At 5:50 I grab a large glass of water with lemon, my daily vitamins and unsweetened iced tea to fortify me until I take a break about 8 am for breakfast.
     Breakfast has never been a big deal for me; although, I do get nourishment as I recognize its important for the body.   
      Within an hour the highway department will be parking trucks at the top of the hill and working their way down clearing out brush.
     The crew can sneak up on you in their efficient way, and often I only hear a slamming truck door, or the high steady beeping of their back-up signals.
     It’s 6 o’clock and I am at my desk ready to begin another round of writing for the day. As much as I have a plan set out for what I hope to accomplish, frequently I go off in a different direction like I am doing now putting this column under my belt.