Now that the hours have changed and there is light waiting to greet us when our eyes slip open in the morning, I rarely get to see the sun come up. As difficult as it was to climb out of bed in the darkness I'd grown accustomed to watching the sky change in the east, easing into my day as smoothly as I eased into my socks. Duncan and I had spent weeks in the soft early pink of morning walking The Run, him chasing squirrels while I marveled at the color of light on the trunks of the aspens. Now the better colors are reserved for those in the evening on the western horizon, jagged and darkened by The Rockies.
Sleep has not been easy coming to me lately, and even harder to hold onto once I've found it. Much of my nights are spent on the couch, watching movies or reading until my eyes grow heavy. But once in bed I toss and turn, cough and try to make room for myself among the dog and three cats who share my space with me.
This morning when it was still dark, Duncan woke me early, standing beside the bed, his nose nearly touching my own, a soft whine in his voice. He does not like to wake me but when he does I know it's time to go, that there is no time to spare. I pulled on my shoes and a jacket--my camera still tucked in the inside pocket--found my knit cap and stumbled downstairs with him. He trotted ahead, the tag on his collar jingling like a Christmas bell in the morning silence, and crossed the parking lot to his grassy spot before I'd even cleared the last landing. But when I did I stopped and caught my breath.
Light had just barely cracked the darkness, splitting the sky in two, one half black and silent, the other red and gold and as violent as a wide burst of lightning. I sat down on the brittle grass with Duncan at my side and watched the night break above us like we were the only two sets of eyes in all of existence. Like this morning was made solely for us.