For one reason or another, I woke earlier than usual that morning. Looking out my window, I could see that the sun had not yet risen, but it was close enough to tint the sky with a faint, pinky gold glow. Birds were shaking the sleepiness from their wings, and giving a few drowsy bursts of song.
Yawning, I slipped out of bed and dressed quickly, the chilly air numbing my hands. I wished that I’d left the heater on overnight- bother all those “save your energy” slips I got in the mail, from now on I would ignore them. I headed into the kitchen and fumbled about trying to make myself a cup of tea. Before my morning dose of caffeine, walking is an effort and speech is utterly out of the question. Then, with the warmth of the tea flooding through me, I headed for the door.
Out on the verandah, my border collie, Bracken, yawned loudly, his mouth so wide it seemed as though it would split in two. He stood, shook himself, then shambled over and pushed his head against my leg, demanding a pat. I smiled to myself, and scratched behind his ears. Then I trudged down the steps to the garden path, breathing out clouds of white mist.
The world sparkled. Though I had seen it many a time before, the beauty of it amazed me all over again. Dew shone like perfect, tiny diamonds on spider’s webs, and white frost crunched beneath my feet. A mouse scurried across the path, and the trees whispered in the breeze. The world seemed to hold its breath.
Then suddenly, the birds burst out in full song, filling the air with music composed by God himself. Looking towards the east, I saw that the sun had risen fully over the horizon.
I stood, my eyes closed, the sun’s warmth soaking into my back, and listened.
Before long, however, my peace was shattered by the sound of Bracken barking. I ran to him, and found him digging frantically at a rabbit hole. I smiled, knowing that he didn’t have a hope; the rabbit would have escaped through another entrance long before Bracken reached him. Poor Bracken, he so desperately wanted to catch a rabbit. How jealous he had looked, when the cat had proudly dragged one through the front door! (I might add that she then proceeded to eat it on my nice, clean floor. I was not pleased).
Bracken soon gave up on his rabbit. Afflicted with grief, he trotted off to the dam to chase ducks.
I began to follow him, but was halted mid-step by a willy wagtail, who swooped in front of me to a nearby branch. “Sweet pretty creature,” he sang cheekily, “Sweet pretty creature!” He looked at me with his bright black eyes, his head on one side. Then suddenly, he flew away in the direction of my house, as if to remind me I was supposed to be there. I sighed, whistled to Bracken, and followed the bird back home.