I have seen the morning. It's unavoidable these days. Long gone are the lingering hours in bed, sipping cup after cup of coffee delivered by Nan, reading and slowly waking to the world. Long gone are days and evenings wandering to the movies. My schedule is no longer directed by me.
He picked us, in a way. We were looking for a dog more Sasha's size (20-40 pounds), somewhat mellow, maybe 1-2 years old. But a visit to the farmer's market and Life is Better Rescue brought him to us.
And from that moment, he has been teaching me that the morning has possibility. Nowadays, Nan's alarm doesn't quite reach its ring at 5:30am (occasionally we get lucky). Instead, Whitman nudges our hands, a sweet good morning, and I can't get angry. He is ready for the day. He's slept seven hours.
So I rise, open the back door and watch him run out to pee, and press the coffee maker. It's a tag team in the house, with Nan rising and preparing the cat's breakfast (they are enjoying their current separate apartment downstairs) while I ready Whitman's breakfast. Whitman is quick back to the door, hungry, politely waiting for his food.
We have a deal. If I get up and feed him, then he has to hang out for a bit, a quick morning snooze while I watch the sun rise from the corners of the front door, steady with my coffee, sipping and slowly waking. It's still and quiet, so I read a bit, treating myself to other's words before I slip into the rhythm of the day. By 7 or 7:15am, Whitman and I are out the door, into the cool wisps of almost fall, traveling into the day. He smells and smells and smells, ducks to the ground in his playful pose when he spots a dog, and then pulls me into a quick pace. I worried that after returning from Paris I wouldn't be able to keep up a steady walking habit. Whitman ensures plenty of miles a day, usually beginning with a 2.5 mile walk.
And I like it. I like the quiet. I like watching the world wake up, passing the familiar walkers with their dogs, watching Whitman watch the world and learn what the night released to the day. I catch moments I might miss, like this tonight--a slight blur as Whitman tired of sitting waiting for my shot.