I’ve been keeping my own company much of the past few weeks. Bob worked out of state for eight days and while he was gone, Dakota and I established our own routine.
The days start later and end earlier now. I’m secretly glad because the time change creates morning opportunities like today.
One of the secret joys of working the opening shift at Starbucks is that I get to see the night sky, particularly the constellations and some planets. The mornings I don’t work, I’m almost sad to miss the show. This morning, however, Dakota noted my first stirrings, her nudge of my outstretched hand a request. I dressed as she stood by the laundry room door where we keep her leash.
Orion had almost finished his march across the navy expanse, and the Big Dipper was emptying its contents on the dark houses we passed. As we strolled the way we always go, the clouds in the sky began to take on a dusty pink cast, hinting at the not-yet-risen sun. I craned my neck, trying to take it all in. It’s hard to walk like this without falling. A lone planet blazed on the eastern horizon--solitary, unmoving, unblinking.
All too quickly light overcame the darkness and the stars faded to invisible. The quiet was broken by cars beginning their commutes down our road, a winding asphalt ribbon without stoplights to the highway. The last memory of dawn presented itself as a soft yellow light across the blue table as I prepared breakfast. A glorious telling of the heavens welcomed a quiet day.
Twelve hours later, as I waited for Bob to come home from work, Dakota nudged me again to venture outside. Like the morning stargazing walk, we make a twilight trip. I never want to go but I’m always glad I did. Tonight the breeze was crisp but not biting. The horizon glowed like the embers of a dying fire and the most elegant sliver of a rising moon rose in what was left of the faded blue jean firmament. Again my eyes were trained on the horizon as silhouetted trees arranged themselves on an orange and amber backdrop. I cannot take in enough of this scene and no camera could ever do it justice. A perfect bookend to the day.
Or so it seemed. Soon after we got home, I heard the news about Paris.
I felt nothing.