I usually get up pretty early around here, it just seems to be the way of things. I like to get up before the sun and spend a little quiet time by myself before the work day begins. This morning was no different in that respect, but it turned out to be something a little special some how. Nothing really I could put a finger on. It just had that special feel about it, if you know what I mean.
I fixed a cup of coffee and stepped out of the front door and onto the porch, making sure I had a towel with me to wipe the dew from my chair. I sat my cup down on the small end table and took a seat. I sat there as still as I could and took in that mystical moment between dawn and daylight.
Several small cat heads peered at me for a moment from their place on the top step, curled up together in half-sleep. I could see the shine of wetness on their backs from the kiss of the heavy fog that surrounded us. One by one, they closed their eyes and ducked their faces back into the mass of fur they cuddled in and drifted off to sleep again.
I couldn't make out the pond just a hundred yards away down the hill through the swirling mist. But I knew it was there because I could hear the ducks cluck and splash around in an early morning chore that they tended to. Along the bank's edge, I could barely see the black silhouette of a cow as she floated across the pasture with the black shadow of her calf close behind.
A row of fence posts gently sloped down the hill away from me, separating pasture from tobacco patch, seemed to fade and disappear into the misty distance. The long, wide leaves of tobacco were at hard labor as they held up the blanket of dew that covered them; the pointed tips of some almost touched the ground. It was cool this morning, but not so cool as to see my breath. But I could see the mist around me move and dance as my arm moved through it to take a sip of coffee or a drag on my cigarette. Fog has a way of creating a fifth time of day. It is neither day or night nor dawn or dusk. It is a time that has it's own dispensation.
Familiar sounds take on whole new meanings. They seem louder and closer than they really are. I wonder if noises carry better over fog or if my hearing just improves because of my handicapped vision? Gentle crickets sound so much larger and more menacing than their actual forms. I hear a meadow lark call as it approaches and can't help but peer into the haze expecting something different to emerge. Some new creature never before seen or heard of. A strange excitement takes hold of me as I wait, only to be diasappointed when it finally appears and is the thing my mind told me it was but my heart had hoped it wasn't. But what a fantasy I held in my hands for a few moments.
The morning sun burns hotter and the fog is put away for use on another day. Near things grow clear and invisible things slowly come into perfect focus. I look at the rose bush beside the porch, as the dew evaporates off of it and becomes a scent in the air around me. My bees are already hard at work there and I know it is time for me to go, too. But before I do, I take time to look at the blooms beside me.
It is called a Jacob's Coat rose and the name is apparent once you see it. The colors start at dark blood red and travel through a spectrum of pinks, oranges, yellows and whites. Not streaks mind you, but rather blended together in soft changes; the pastels of an artist's chalk. How much like a woman this rose is, I think. All the different colors softly blended together like the facets of her spirit and held fast by the fragile petals of her form. Yet neither is without thorns nor slow to draw blood if handled carelessly.
Copyright © 2006 Mike Lawson