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Winter morn in Maine

I have neither a clock nor curtains in my bedroom. One tells me too much; the other tells me nothing. Upon waking, I’d much rather roll over in bed and gaze outside my bare windows. If I look out and it’s pitch dark, I simply throw the covers back over my head. If, however, there’s a bit — even a tiny bit — of color emerging between the oak and pine trees, I know that it’s time to rise.

A cold slow sun eventually climbs over the foliage as I have the coffee brewing and the dogs fed. The colors change so fast that I stare outside, transfixed, through my first cup of coffee, listening to NPR, anticipating the day. No need to rush. It’s barely 6:30 when I finally look at the kitchen clock. I have a full day of work ahead of me, but all the time in the world to begin. The idea of starting a car engine is more foreign to my current lifestyle than putting on real clothes.

Nope, I put layer upon layer of warm undergarments, and then start with the pants and sweaters. I don’t look at the outside thermometer. I can tell how cold it is by how curled the Rhododendron leaves are on the bushes outside my bathroom. I’m only a wood stove away from the cold blasts, so immersion into the outside is never dramatic.

This morning we had blizzard winds but no towering snow drifts. Seems that the storm veered farther into the ocean. The dogs followed in my snowshoe path and we walked our nice trodden loop. Only inside, did I finally look and see that the day’s temperature hadn’t hit zero yet.

The colors are more vibrant in winter, and that makes getting out of bed simply part of a larger drama. I live in a large panorama. I can’t imagine ever sleeping through a sunrise because each day’s dawning is so different. That the day’s light intensifies and then slowly ebbs in late afternoon, after my work is done and I’ve walked the full scope of my property, to Sampson Cove and back, at least four times. That is magic.

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