A lot of years ago, I read a very nice little essay in a magazine. I do not recall which magazine or who the author was, which is too bad because there have been so many times since that I have wished I could have thanked that nice person. I also cannot recall exactly what the entire piece was about but there is one thing that I gleaned from the reading and will never forget. The author wrote about how she turned something negative in her life into something very positive, certainly not an uncommon theme. But, this time it was just the theme at just the right time. The author and I shared a common theme. Both of us were unable, like so many women, to sleep past a wee hour of the morning. We wake up. We stay up. We get out . We start early. My take away......I rise early. I love morning. I get extras. This is good. My dearly-forgotten author taught me something valuable. We, who wake up early and have to get out of bed lest we get a headache, have extra hours in our days. We see things that we might have missed. We have time to pray, plan, think and see our world as it wakes up, most likely our wold at it's most glorious hour. A world unspoiled. A quiet and peaceful world. Colors, produced by the rising sun, that cannot be described, have to be seen. Wild turkeys still on their night time perches, sharing the view. The world at 5AM.
This morning, as I looked out the back window, the lamp post that lights up the yard during the night cast precisely the right amount of illumination onto the snow, revealing series of track marks that could only have been made by visiting wild life during the night. There were sets that went back and forth from the foundation area of the building to a tree and another distinct path that swirled around the ground in no particular order, perhaps made by a nocturnal animal on his or her nightly rounds. I saw a turkey, clumsily making its way from the tree that sheltered it through the night, back to the snowy ground and I watched as it slowly made its way through the snow down to the pond to join its mate. Together, they ascended the hill from the pond and went out for breakfast at the feeder, putting down new sets of track marks. With each new burst of light came more activity as each species welcomed the dawn. I was only alone in my home, not in my universe. The track marks on the snow, a gigantic white canvas, proved that, long before the sun rose.
Last night, we attended the opening reception of the All Members Show at our local Cultural Center. There were dozens of beautiful works of art, contributed by creative people at all levels. Our eyes were treated to delightful pastels, oils, acrylics, photos, weavings and other hand crafts. In many cases, we knew the artists and were able to personally offer congratulations on jobs well done. One of the most beautiful works was done by a woman from whom I took classes in collage and mixed media last year. At the opposite end of the exhibit hall were two magnificent woven garments, both done by a friend who we had not seen in a while.
An instant re-connection and a promise to not let that much time go by before seeing each other again followed. Art does so much more than meets the eye.
And this morning, because I have been given the gift of these beautiful extra hours, because I have been afforded the opportunity to spend time in this special world that is missed by the "sleepers", I start my day reflecting on the essence of creativity, the ability to leave track marks on life that prove your existence.