Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mornings Like This

It's hot and slightly breezy this morning, and the humidity is casting a golden haze over the eastern sky. The air smells hot and sweet, like aspiration. Every breeze that wafts carries on it the cool breaths of a million trees exhaling.

Walking down my street to work, I take a deep breath. I love mornings like this. I always tell my wife that I could never be happy anywhere without trees. Arizona, for example, will never happen. And this is exactly why. I know mornings like this well. Half a lifetime ago this week, I'd have been breezing through my last day of school, bursting out into the late morning sun a free man. I'd have been staring down the barrel of three whole months of blessed solitude. At the end of fifth grade, we'd have taken a little field trip into town, to the baseball fields at Gallup Park. We'd have brought picnic lunches, and we'd have camped out at the bases of hemlock, telling jokes and working up the courage to talk to crushes. We'd have gone home, me to a gloriously empty house (I was a latchkey kid), and after a quick sandwich or bowl of Chef Boyardee, I'd have been right back out the door again, "on walkabout," as my father used to say. Sometimes I'd cover a good twelve miles in a single day.

The best part was always the mornings. Waking up slow, with the whisper of the ceiling fan, to sunlight pouring through my window. There were so many trees on my street growing up that the boughs of the old oaks and cottonwoods used to touch from opposite sides, creating a natural echo chamber that used to make the cacophony of birdsong sound like a virtual rainforest. Mornings on Lake Huron were always warm and still, and before the afternoon storms rolled in, the sound of waves on the shoreline was never more than a glass of water spilled on velvet carpet. There were days when I woke up hours before the world, just to watch her sleep. I never understood people who didn't care for mornings. It's the only time of day, in my opinion, when one can catch the true face of life.

It's funny: I think of mornings like this, and I don't think of "mornings," as a concept. I think of mornings in the place I came from. I think of mornings in Port Austin. I think of lazing around in my bedroom with the windows open, listening to Sting or Tori. I think of long days spent sitting in our screened-in porch, staring through binoculars at the songbirds as they landed on my mother's bird-feeders. I think of these things, and I remember them all so clearly, memories bundled up in the subtle bouquet of morning air. And when I breathe in here, I know that the air here doesn't quite smell the same. It can't smell the same, and it never will. But the scent is close enough. And on mornings like this, when I wake up and walk to P.T. I hear the birds singing, and smell the sweetness of lilac and green grass, I approach things with a clearer head, and in these rare moments I feel okay.


Blogger MyRiseAbove said...

Nice post. I love your writings. It reveals who you are. You are exposed and explained in such a deep and transparent way.

And by the way, you are beautiful.

2:04 AM  
Blogger cinnabari said...

I never understood people who didn't care for mornings. It's the only time of day, in my opinion, when one can catch the true face of life.

I like mornings. The stillness, the quiet. The solitude. The dark.

...mornings being midnight and immediately thereafter, in my world. My dark, nocturnal world, where the yellow orb of death remains hidden. *g*

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel much the same way about water... I could never live anywhere without water. The mention of Huron's soft whispering waves, in contrast to the dull murmuring of Superior, make me get a twinge of homesickness for my youth.
Yeah, I do drop by here and read occasionally. I don't update as much, but I do have my own blog.
Opalesque, through Livejournal.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Sarah Beth said...

Of all the people who read this blog, probably only I understand the true meaning of mornings on Huron. For me, it was camping out at Port Crescent, but in B.A., I was greeted by the lush scents of lilac in the air and the cool rush of air blowing through the shady streets. Running with Rue through the courthouse sprinklers. Murphy's donut runs. Just walking as the sun came up. Those are my cherished memories. But MY most cherished memories of Huron are the sunsets... watching the sun blaze in glory over the western edge of the lake and just over the trees before finally seeking its bed. Then walking with you through the darkening streets of Port Austin, talking of little, unimportant things, or great, mysterious ones...

2:45 AM  

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