Every weekday morning my day starts at 5:45 by getting up, feeding the kittens and then walking the hell hound.
There is no exception to this except lightning because, danger - obviously.
I've been doing this for exactly a year since we brought the dog home as a tiny-bladdered puppy who thought it was play time when she got up to go to the bathroom. This, I could not have. Dog, you can get me out of bed and that's fine. I can find ways to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the early morning hours. You wake up my kids and destroy my peace with three groggy complainers??? You'll be an ebay post by the week's end.
So we learned what worked for both of us and we walked. She got to move and wiggle and burn some much needed energy and I... well, same.
Here's the thing about getting up and going outside at that hour; you learn what the best mornings look like. (FYI, they're calm and God paints the most stunning shades of pink into the sunrise.)
You learn what mornings that will test your limits look like. (FYI, they're horrendously cold, require many layers and sometimes you see wild animals that are black and white and potentially smell bad.)
You also learn that clear winter mornings allow you to look up and see millions of stars, clear summer mornings make you want to fall to your knees thanking the good Lord for giving you a few more hours of glorious daylight and then one morning you wake up, think it's still summer but the lights are broken.
That morning, is apparently, August 12.
Today, I awaken, ready to start the routine, only to be dumbfounded by the darkness that surrounds me.
I knew it would happen at some point because, in the winter, my walks are dark and in the summer they're put-your-hair-in-a-ponytail-and-put-on-a-bra for goodness sakes - someone will see you! (Yes, in case you're wondering, there are other, actual humans, up walking their dogs at this hour. I see them everyday as proof.)
But I didn't know that it wouldn't be gradual. That I would walk one day and it seem slightly more darkish and then the next - holy moly where's the flashlight on my phone?! I didn't know that I would sit up like a moron and blink at the clock for two full minutes wondering what had gone wrong and why I was getting up with no light shining in the window. Who has made this error? Is it my clock? Is it the sky? Is there a UFO hovering over my town blocking all the sunlight?? (Oh don't think I'm being funny here, my stupidity knows no limitation in the early morning hours. I really did picture a spaceship.)
Sadly, there's no real point to all this nonsense except to tell you that, I think, summer is starting to close up shop. She's slowly taking down the hanging wind chimes and seashell encrusted picture frames that she sells and Fall is starting to unpack her selection of pumpkin decor and day planners to put in their place.
In case, you haven't seen evidence of this in any retail store... or you wanted some nature-related proof in the form of a weird lady and her dog and the lessons they learn from the early morning hours.