Every morning, Cindy and I arise between 5:00 and 6:00 to embark on our morning walk. Upon awakening, our first impulse is to roll over and go back to sleep. But, we have become disciplined enough that we "make" ourselves get up and start moving. In the summer, the Texas heat is oppressive, even at that early hour. And the winters can be bone-chilling, with high, piercing winds that slice through to my soul. But still, we go on. And, even though our walk is only 2 miles (40 minutes), it is enough to really get our blood circulating for the day.
In the darkness and stillness, we depart our home from our back patio, and briskly walk down the alley to Quarry Chase, the main road of our subdivision. Today, the sky was perfectly clear. A sliver of a crescent moon gazed eerily down at us, and the constellation Orion, the mighty hunter, stood guard as we ramped up our pace.
The sidewalks here in Plano, Texas are in good condition, and we know every crack and bump for the two miles of our trek. Sprinkler systems are active at that early hour, so we must be careful to avoid the shocking spray of cold water that occurs when we are surprised by their sudden attack.
Rabbits are present in biblical numbers at dawn, and we see them scurrying away from us as we pass. Birds call to one another.
We cross the creek at Legacy and Independence Boulevards. An egret is stalking minnows in the shallows. The dark, oval outline of a large snapping turtle lurks on the bottom.
At the Kroger shopping center, few cars are present at that early hour, so we walk through the lot searching for lost coins. Today we found a penny. One day we found a $10 bill.
We look inside the Einstein bagel shop, and we see the regulars there, reading the morning news as they munch on their bagels and sip dark coffee.
We exit the shopping center on Independence Boulevard, and pound the pavement northward to Micarta, where we turn back into our neighborhood from the west.
We now begin to encounter other walkers and runners, and dog-walkers who like to get out early with their pets, before daybreak, so that they won't be seen leaving the dog droppings on the sidewalk. Sorry we have so many folks like that, who care so little for the beauty of our living space.
We pass many people who will not return our simple, cheery "Good Morning!" Sourpusses! Ugh.
We glide by the Bethany elementary school, and a few hundred more meters brings us full circle to our alleyway and home, our bodies warmed from the exercise, our spirits lifted by the rising sun and the golden glow on the eastern horizon.
Our coffee is waiting for us. God is in His world and all is well!