#26 Up Before Birds


Up Before Birds.

My schedule has rolled into one based on natural light and harkens back to a Northeast Kingdom lifestyle I lived years and years ago. Back then I was often up by dawn and out into the garden as the day began. In the winter there were wood stoves to load and a job feeding children at the tiny local school. That beloved place had elevation and was not near water but what is held in common with where I am now is the absence of street lights.

In winter, the black night falls quickly and early and my energy fades with the light. Because I can, I collapse with the light but I wake before it comes back, my longing pulling it into filling the house and watching the sky for first streaks announcing its coming. In the early gray morning I stand watching the birds arrive for their seed breakfast. I can only identify species by size and flight as there’s not enough light to see their colors.

Day before light is like an unopened gift. This morning began with navy blue and yellow streaks contrasting the white snow on the ground. The sun rose with pink-yellow light illuminating, for only a few minutes, this neighborhood cluster of houses. Too many of these are now empty, the scramble for short term rentals driving away those who would gladly be here year round if they did not have to compete. Marketplace real estate creates seasonal ghost neighborhoods formed by water proximity and income inequality. Winter becomes a time of isolation that sharply contrasts with summer’s population crush for those of us lucky enough to live close to the water.

The trade off may be that such places as this remain without night’s artificial illumination, so destructive to natural rhythms that nourish the soul.

2 thoughts on “#26 Up Before Birds

  1. I love the dawn time especially in spring and summer. It fills my heart with joy to be up before most humans listening to the magnificats sung by each species of bird in their own way. I find it hard to stir out of bed in winter. It seems like such an effort to get moving. Winter birds in central NY have little to sing about other than ‘predator alerts” or “food here!” calls. Still any sweet sound in the winter iciness stirs the heart, We are all counting the days to spring. I think you have more variety in winter months. Perhaps some of our missing birds, like loons are enjoying a sojourn at the shore. Keep writing!


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