The stillness of the morning surprises me. I expected more. More what, I don’t know: Fanfare, joy, heft. Something, anything, to set the day apart from all the other days. The air should be humming with excitement; instead, I find myself slightly annoyed at the chill in the air. I know it’s from the moisture collected overnight but it feels like a personal affront by nature to mar my mood. The smell of summer’s warmth trapped within the evaporating dew fills me and I feel my memories shift to earlier, bygone days when the years stretched out before me and the world held so much promise and hope.
Sparkles dance across the meadow as dawn’s light begins its journey through the world. I watch as a bird along the tree line ventures forth in search of food, it ruffles, slowly at first and then with more vigor, its feathers as the morning moisture is trapped within them. I wonder if there is, secreted away in the trees, a nest filled with babies patiently waiting its return. Babies that demand devotion and sacrifice until the day they realize they exist independent of it and they eagerly fly away.
I stand, perfectly still, so not to disturb the earnestness in which it toils. It turns sharply as it senses my thoughts. We hold each other’s gaze and realize, at least momentarily, we are the same creature, with the same mission. The sun, meanwhile, has almost reached me and I turn in to it, instinctively. Seeking the warmth upon my face knowing that summer’s grace is almost finished for this year and the sun will retreat. Cease to be a golden orb of warmth and pleasure instead replaced with the miserly light of winter.
The bird consumes my thoughts. It’s easier to think on it rather than my responsibilities. I dread the coming fall. The change of seasons are passages. I am less tolerant of passages as I age. I’m sure there’s a fear of death or some other post-Freudian reason for why I tolerate them less. The reason is less important to me than the actual passage of time.
The bird is gone.
Another thing I have lost while looking away. One day, I promise myself, I’ll pay more attention. Better attention. Attention of some sort. Yet even as I think it, I know it’s unsustainable. Something to assuage my guilt in the moment and will be turned into another tool in the arsenal I use to defeat myself.
And today becomes a day just like all the others that litter my past.