I am an early riser. If am going to get things done, it’s likely to happen before breakfast. Maybe not three impossible things like the White Queen, but things, nonetheless. Morning is my time, though I am less focussed in the morning as I used to be.

One of the things I have started doing, to allow myself some grace in that “slower morning” phase I am entering, is to greet the dawn. I pour myself a coffee (usually yesterday’s leftovers) and wander outside in my pajamas. We are isolated from other houses, so nobody sees me as I walk up the driveway to the East Road. I watch the sun rise over the mountains and abandoned fields. It is beautiful and different every day.

It’s an aural feast as well as a visual one. The bees buzz heavily on whatever is blooming; right now it’s tea camellia and their visitors are giant hornets with a deep hum. Bird sing to the glory of the new day. There is sometimes a whoosh of a car down on Nagasa Kaido. At 6 am, if I prick my ears, I can make out someone’s Reveille alarm going off. If I am earlier than the sun, I hear the kyon and other wild beasts going to bed with their last barks and rustles through the underbrush.

These quiet moments are sometimes shared with one or more of the cats. They like to follow me around. One morning, Beryl and I were surprised by a kyon. Fritter likes to stop to sniff flowers and then he gets confused when I have walked on. He cries loudly until I come back for him; I think his two weeks away from home in September gave him fear of being lost and alone.

I feel grounded and in awe during these quiet moments in the early day. I am glad I have documented these sunrise moments so I can admire their beauty again someday.

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Mediatinker, Kristen McQuillin, is an American-born resident of Japan since 1998. This blog chronicles her life, projects, thoughts, and small adventures.