It is dark this morning. Not just the time of the morning it is, but the sky has a darkness to it that won't be repelled by sunrise in another hour. It is grey, and chilly this morning, but not yet cold. October, right now, seems hung by a fine thread, a balancing act, between leaving summer and committing to winter. It's indecisiveness, it's inability to decide where to put its mark most, is something I can identify with right now. So, fight it or embrace it, it is a dark morning. Accept it might be the best middle ground.For October. For me.
I am up, dressed and ready for work an hour early this morning. I'm not sure why. What to do with it. I could go to school. There's plenty to do there, always an extra hour, or twenty, needed. But that would mean leaving the dogs an hour early, and I hate to do that. They're such good company, and I believe they need mine too. I stand at the front shutterless, curtainless, windows, still bare of any coverings since I haven't finished painting the trim yet, and look out at the dark world in front of my house. The house across the street, where there are two good parents with two good kids, is lit enough so that I know they are up and getting the boys ready for school, and themselves ready for work. I know both boys will be fed breakfast before mom takes them up to school, and I know their lunches are packed, and their clothes will match, and their hair will be combed. And I know mom will kiss them goodbye in the car, at least the little one, and wish them a good day. She'll probably tell them to be good, too.
The house next to theirs is dark. No one is up and around there. It is a different house, a different world, right next door. Those kids have it rough. No one will feed them breakfast, check their clothes, muss their hair, or tell them to have a good day. When all six kids from both houses are out on the sidewalk after school, on weekends, the playing field is level. They are all kids. When they return indoors to their respective houses, long after dark for the kids in the house on the right, they return to different countries, one at peace, the other at war, and the four kids in that house have been the casualties since their births.
A school bus decelerates down the street to the left, and leans into the corner turn, off to pick up children from good and bad houses, and bring them to us within the hour. Another car makes the turn, its headlights piercing the gloomy dark morning, and I wonder, idly, where it is going, and whether I would like to be going there, too. Where would I like to go this morning? I don't even know.
My second cup of coffee is poured, and I'm grateful that this extra time this morning means that I will get to drink it here, at home, with my dogs for company, and while it's hot. Most mornings I take the second cup to school with me, and by the time I'm able to drink, it's already lukewarm. I'm used to cold coffee, but it doesn't mean I like it. The sky is lightening a bit, enough to see that I was right, and heavy grey clouds are hanging grumpily above the almost bare trees across the street. There is now a light behind the two upstairs bedroom windows in the other house across the street, which means someone is awake over there, at least. Most likely the kids have their own alarms, and have gotten themselves up. I hope they have a good day. I hope they get enough to eat at school and it fills them up for awhile. I hope that someone loves them, just a little bit, today.
Sparticus, the rooster, the king-of-my-coop rooster, for there are three, has just begun to crow. I guess the darkness of the morning has led him to a late start this day. Soon, he and his harem of hens will be out scratching in the dirt, looking for cold worms. I hope they find some this morning. One of the cats has given herself a bath, and curled up in a tight little ball, wedged in to the back of the couch, where I would bet she will be most of the day. It is that kind of a day today. The dogs are busy chewing bones I gave them when I sat down with my coffee, and that will keep them all busy for at least another few moments. Then, as I begin my day again in public, with all the noise and chaos that I hate, they, too, will curl up and snooze the rest of the day away. Oh, they'll guard the house occasionally with their frantic and ferocious sounding barking, but when the squirrell on the Birch scampers off, or the errant stray wandering through our front yard has gone on about his business down the street, they, too, will curl up and go back to dozing until I return home eight hours from now.
It's only been an extra hour this morning, but what a gift for my thoughts, and my heart, it's been. An hour spent with hot coffee, dogs, and my own musings, makes me realize there really was no other way to have spent this hour. Silly that I stood at the window in the dark so long looking for one, looking for some other way to have filled it. Some way that mattered more. I don't think there could have been one. At least not today.