I’ve started getting up early, before the kids, to head out for a quick walk. Just to get a little bit of exercise, and to have some alone time. It really helps get my day started right. After I’ve done my walk, I stop by the house to grab Lucy the dog for her short walk. She likes to stop and sniff everything, so taking her first isn’t an option if I want to work up a sweat. Since Gabriel has started waking up very early (say 5:15 AM), he’s been joining me most mornings. He sips his milk cup, and sits back to enjoy the ride.
The sun hasn’t risen yet when I walk out the door, although the sky is brightening. The traffic noise is minimal, more like an occasional hum in the background. The sounds I hear are of the desert life going on all around me. The woodpeckers are calling for their mates, an owl is hooting, and occasionally I hear a coyote or dog howling. This quiet is lovely to be part of in the early morning.
I do see a few fellow early risers out, running or biking. We nod, perhaps say hello, but do not say more than that. We all are enjoying the solitude the early morning brings. Sometimes I see coyotes running on the street. When they see me, they pause. Three coyotes ran right in front of me – and one paused, looking back – perhaps at another coyote hidden in the shrubs that I couldn’t see. Quickly they ran, off the street, and back into the washes they went. When I turned back after passing the spot they ran of into, I saw another coyote waiting. Watching.
As I walk, I notice things I don’t see when I drive past. The neighbors have added some new flowers in pot, the prickly pear cactus fruit is very much ready to harvest, or that one neighbor with all the quirky little buildings has added a small tree house perched above the wash for his grandson.
Mornings after a good rain, the air of full of bugs – swarms of bugs. And bats, swooping down to gobble them up. They never hit me or even get too close, but they are everywhere. As the sun comes up, the birds join the bats in the bug feast. The birds chatter to each other as they fly around. I saw two hawks swoop in low together, not after any other birds, just flying together. I like to think of them as a mated pair, heading back to their nest after enjoying a morning flight.
The sky as the sun rises is just beautiful to watch. The greyish-purple clouds dot the light blue sky. The undersides of the clouds turn a lovely shade pink, gradually changing to orange, and then gleaming yellow just above the spot where the sun rises through the mountain pass. Suddenly, the entire sky – clouds and all – is the glorious shade of vibrant yellow. And then it’s gone. The sun had risen, the clouds return to their usual white or grey color, set on the blue backdrop of the sky.
My walk is ending, but before I head inside for the morning, I take Lucy the dog for her short walk. Then it’s back inside, to shower, feed the kids, and leave for work. But the beauty I have seen stays with me all day long. I feel luck to live here…