I rise early every day, weekends included, because the dawn hour is my favorite.  I love the half-light. I love the final caressing cool of the night, like a freshly-laundered bedsheet enveloping my skin with a promise. It’s a promise that allows me to face the heat, humidity, and never-ending list of chores marking the day proper.

This is my porch time, these few precious moments when I open my senses to the glory of nature without the cacophony of motherhood, work, and responsibility crowding my mind with their boisterous demands.  I hold these moments sacred. They feed my soul.

As the sun ascends, it paints the clouds in delicate watercolors and illuminates a thousand hues of white.  They form a canopy over the pasture, framed and put into perspective by the wetland forest beyond. The foreground is green, a verdant, pregnant green sparkling with a dew that gently bathes the outstretched blades and my eyes in a richness rivaled only by the variegated shadows of the twilight to come.  It is a bookended beauty, this collect of nature. My stresses melt under the healing balm of quietude.

I listen.  I listen because the sound of silence is a symphony.  Day breaks in birdsong fluttering down from the boughs, and sometimes I catch a glimpse of a cardinal or wren, the helicoptered percussion of a hummingbird. The rooster responds, and the hens cluck their contented greeting to the morn.  The cows move languidly across the pasture, at ease in their lumbering grace. It is idyllic; not a stolen moment, but rather a gifted one, a blessing recognized.

This time is a thanksgiving, a greeting, a prayer.  It is hope, glory, and bounty…a thousand million times more connected than the cold, blue glow of a handheld screen.

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