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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Mornings Are Mine

[Technical difficulties prevent me from publishing this post with the intended images. When/if I can add them, I will. I particularly regret not being able to show you the photo of Fleda Brown and me at our second TEA. Soon! I hope!]

My days begin in the dark, as early as 3 or 4 o’clock, with whatever book I was reading the night before (or the previous morning, if I happened to be too tired to read before falling asleep). Today my book was an advance reader’s copy of a title due out in the fall, Hard Cider, by Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of the award-winning Even in Darkness. The earlier work was set in 20th-century Europe. Most of the story in Hard Cider takes place right here in Leelanau County. Before settling down to my book, however, I step outside for a minute to admire the moon over the barn. 

The first hint of first light brings sounds of morning’s earliest birds. Are they hungry? I am. Toasted English muffin with cheddar cheese and refried black beans is today’s solution, and I fix a peanut butter kong for Sarah, my early morning companion. She cares nothing for coffee but loves to start the day with a peanut butter snack, after which she looks to me for the last bite of whatever I’m eating. Her expectations are learned, but we don’t mind: we taught her, after all, and her manners are exquisite.

At “quite-light” but still well before sunrise, Saran and I go outdoors, where my straw bale gardening needs watering. As for Sarah, she has important business and exploring to do before she comes back to lie in the grass near where I’m working, continuing to monitor the air with twitching nose.

An old, beat-up plastic children’s sled still functions to move certain objects from one part of the yard to another. Today a box of lettuce seedlings asks for sunnier placement. Then it’s back indoors to throw a load of laundry in. By the time the sun is up, the wash will be ready to go out on the line, and meanwhile another cup of coffee is in order, this time outdoors on our boardwalk, where spires of delphiniums are beginning to open to the warm air.

Poet and essayist Fleda Brown, my second Thursday Evening Author of the season, was a delight, as always! I was grateful to her for making the trip out to Northport from Traverse City, and we both appreciated the number of people who turned out for an evening poetry reading. Thanks to a miraculous and mysterious memory flash, I even remembered to get a photo of my guest and myself together for a change. Thanks to the Artist, a.k.a. David Grath, for operating the camera (his), as well as for the loan of his gallery space for our TEA gatherings.

And now June is almost over! How swiftly the weeks swoop past! Unbelievable. It’s strawberry season already. Coreopsis on the roadside (the “longest day” flower in my associative memory) is already moving over for sweet peas. And Friday mornings are farm market time in Northport, as one day tumbles after another. Can’t miss farm market!

Still, it’s good to have these quiet, sweet morning hours in which to look around and catch my breath.

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