Early Morning Christmas Magic
The dog was especially enthusiastic about waking me up this morning. I did not share her enthusiasm. The bed was soft and warm and it was still dark outside. I got up anyway.
We walked out into the clear, dark morning. The air was cold, but calm. The streets were quiet with all our neighbors tucked away in their homes. I assumed they were sleeping or enjoying their Christmas morning with their families rather than joining the usual frantic exodus from our street. I was tempted to let the dog off her lead to run, but thought better of it.
We circled the streets with the dog sniffing for interesting scents and me reveling in the silence. As we reached the halfway point we met up with her marking nemesis (another dog who likes to pee all over the place with the intent of proving that the land is his) and they took turns spreading their aroma and scratching the earth.
We moved on into solitude once again as we got closer to home. As we got within eyeshot of our house, I started hearing an odd noise. As we got closer, I realized it was an owl hooting and then a second deeper voiced owl would answer: Who who-who who-whoooooo.
They were somewhere in the slice of woods behind our row of houses and I listened intently until they moved farther up the neighborhood. I wondered if they were there every morning, but masked by the roar of the highway. They talked back and forth; higher who’s followed by deeper ones – Barred owls perched in the woods with the blush of dawn coloring the eastern sky.
It was a lovely way to start what will be a very hectic Christmas day; a special unexpected gift.