Sunday, February 12, 2017

Early Morning Wake Up Call

January has had its share of foggy mornings this year, and although I understand the hazard they impose on early morning commuters and school buses, the photographer in me loves those kind of misty, mysterious beginnings to the day.   A few weeks ago, my morning was running uncharacteristically ahead of schedule and the world was again shrouded in that gray fogginess that softens the hard edges of winter, so I grabbed my camera bag and headed north to the woods of Bailly Homestead in the Dunes National Lakeshore.   Unfortunately the farther north I drove, the less fog I encountered and by the time I had parked the car, unpacked my camera and hit the trail, it was almost gone altogether.

What I did find was the calming peacefulness of an early morning walk in the woods.   It was the kind of quiet that draws you in, wraps itself around you and slows your pace.   There were still sounds -  forest morning sounds of birds calling to each other, a slight breeze that scraped the tops of bare trees against each other and my footfalls on the soggy path.

As usual when I am hiking, my mind began to wander to other precious early morning experiences. My thoughts traveled back to the early hike on the Wonderland Trail in Tremont, Maine with the morning's rays streaming in through the trees as we trekked to the rocky Atlantic shoreline and watched the sun climb into a blue, blue sky. Then there was the morning last August, waking up on a windy ridge high in the Cascade Mountains, to watch the sun peek out from behind Mount Shuksan and pour bright light into our tent.

My life is ever blessed for the experiences of those mornings.    I cannot promise that my mornings in the future will be altered to spend more of them with a quiet woodland walk to start to my day, but what I can guarantee is that when those mornings arise, they will be cherished .