Early Morning.

Thanks to a guy named Thoreau, you might find yourself muttering in your mind something about a word that doesn’t exactly fit into a two-fisted lexicon and that word is “blessing.”

As another old-timer would have said, it doesn’t “roll up its sleeves, spit on its hands and get to work”. (Sandburg, writing about “slang”). Back to Thoreau. (You forget his first two names for a moment—guys of that era often went by a mouthful, no worries, they’ll hit later when you stop trying).

Back to excuse-making for the less than rugged word, “blessing.” But screw such self-editing. Thoreau said this: “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Two-fisted or not, that sticks in the mental library if early morning walks are a routine part of your routine. And if you have a dog who needs a daily reminder that he’s house trained, you get him the hell outside early. Like “still kinda dark.” “Crepuscular” early. A ritzy word also not in any two-fisted lexicon.

But forget about whether a word has muddy boots, and just say what’s going on. Like: every freakin’ morning at dawn, you’re out there walking the pooch. Watching the eastern sky lighten over the trees sometimes in orange glow and other times in silver, and you say: hell, Henry David, you nailed it.

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. If the word fits, wear it. You do feel blessed to see the day start, dark then light. It’s blessedly quiet, too, and in all seasons dawn smells good. And you see birds. Sometimes deer. Once in a while a coyote stares before turning with a shrug and trotting off.

This morning, on your early morning walk, there was suddenly a silent presence moving over you and your dog, a flying machine of commanding size, owning the sky, stamping an image into your day…and you know it was a Great Blue Heron rising for reasons of its own, powerfully, soundless wingbeats putting a mark on the moment and disappearing. Blue heron in flight.

You don’t want to recite in your mind that quote from Thoreau, but it floats undeniable as the heron, low and quiet. Even your downward-sniffing dog has looked up, all eyes, which you read as unlikely canine “awe” but you believe it. And get on with your day, silently thanking Mr. Thoreau for his insight and the heron for his wingspan and the dog for being the reason you’re out there on an “early morning walk.”

2 Responses to “Early Morning.”

  1. Two-Fisted Bird Watcher says:

    Hey Larry, yeah, if you remember our observations, you and we are not as young as we once were. But nice to catch up again. Glad to hear there’s another Thoreau fan out there. You mentioned you were writing on Thanksgiving. Well, we’re thankful to hear from you.

  2. Larry D. says:

    This post was a treat to see for two reasons. One, it represents your return after many years. I remember liking your observations when we were both younger! Two, it discusses Thoreau, also a favorite of mine–and probably of many folks who visit something called Two-Fisted Birdwatcher. THANKS for both things. I’m writing this on Thanksgiving 2023, so it’s got an extra meaning . Welcome back, keep the words and birds coming.

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