From as far back as I can remember, I have always been an early bird. It doesn’t always happen, as the frenetic pace of adult life often has me wanting to sleep in, never fully rested. I prefer to be the version of myself who wakes up when it is still pitch black outside, and the only sound is a few birds chittering. In these early morning hours, the world belongs to us early risers, and it feels as though we have a secret that no one else knows about—a breakfast dimension where time slows down to a comfortable and lazy crawl. By the time my partner is yawning and stretching awake, I have already had my first cup of coffee and am in full swing, ready to take on the day.
As a child, some of my fondest memories are of waking up at daybreak with my grandfather and sitting on his deck to watch the birds. The house was right in front of a large forested area that is no longer there, razed to make way for more rows of suburban houses. I cried when I saw it was gone because I treasured this special place as a child, and I still do through my memories and featuring it in many of my writings. I remember feeling a sense of awe and wonder as I watched the world come alive around me as the sun peeked over the horizon, safe in my lush, overgrown woodland, shared with many deer, coyotes, rabbits, and other wildlife.
In the fall, I would often wander out to the yard after spending time identifying birds through binoculars with my grandfather. The early dawn light cast a golden glow over everything around me, making the whole world feel alive and inviting, coated in the glimmer of newness and potential. The deck and hedges were full of spiderwebs strung with fat droplets of dew. They sparkle, prismatic in the sun, and I used to stare and wonder at them for a long time, standing in the yard by my grandmother’s crabapple tree. I wondered if the spiders liked the web-gems as much as I did.
I deeply loved my little backyard universe, with the deer grazing, the rabbits loping around my grandmother's garden, nibbling the flowers (much to her frustration), and next to me, the bluejays and finches enjoying their birdseed outpost near the edge of the wood. And there was little old me, tucked into my coat in the chilly dawn air, staring in awe at the intricate spiderwebs that adorned my grandparents' well-kept yard. In these precious moments of stillness and solitude, I learned time would stop for me and the world would present wonders if I only woke up before everyone else.