I’m not much of one for exercise. I know I should move more but tend not to.
When I come home from an early morning summer walk, though, I wonder why I don’t do this every day. A walk like this gives new meaning to that old song, “morning has broken, like the first morning.”
Shadows make me and my cat-who-believes-he-is- a-dog appear taller than we really are.
We deliver maple syrup to my mother and her husband, who are already making pancakes—it is Sunday, after all. The cat opts to stay with them.
I can walk down the middle of the road if I want to, and I do, just because I can.
I see only three other people in the 3-plus miles I walk.
Our 80-something neighbor, the Energizer Bunny, out weeding her gardens and laughing at me for getting exercise in as artificial a way as taking a walk, when I, too, could be weeding.
The neighbors who make the rustic furniture, heading off to sell at the farmer’s market, where the rich folk from downstate buy expensive pieces for their summer camps.
The big guy walking his tiny dog and begging it to finish up so he can go back home for another cup of coffee.
I see a lot more animals than people.
The doe and her fawn way off at the edge of the field—I took a photo but it didn’t translate.
The bunnies who tear away from me, with their cottontails high.
The squirrels who are busy, following some imperative to mate or gather nuts or whatever squirrels do in their spare time.
I see the cardinals and the hummingbird.
And these guys.
I hear all the other birds—the kingfisher and songbirds I can’t name. I follow the sound of tiny tapping to see the littlest woodpecker ever, getting its breakfast.
The only bird I don’t hear is the neighborhood rooster who cockle doodles his doo all day long but never, it seems, in the early morning.
The flowers, too, seem most striking early.
I know I will spend the day listening to children squeal, as they dunk themselves from a small sailboat or paddleboard. But they are, as yet, silent, still sleeping off the sugar-high hangover from one s’more too many.
Right now, the sailboats are at the moorings, the big beach towels are still dry and waiting on the line. No jet skis or deep-throated bass boats mar the quiet.
There are smells, too. The lake is low this year and, frankly, sort of whiffy. Someone mowed grass last night and the campfires still waft faint wood smoke.
The breeze is chilly this early but the sun is rising hot on my back.
Is there anything better than a quiet summer morning?
Nope, except, maybe, a summer sunset . . .