We’ve spent the night on our houseboat, the Phoenix, anchored in our favorite cove. I make my way to the front deck, rich coffee steaming in my favorite mug. My day often begins before day begins, a world in shades of gray. Daylight is still a promise. Darkness, not yet a memory.
The first sip of coffee is ecstasy; the second, bliss. Another spring morning dawns, and I have come to watch.
I take my seat in the captain’s chair, where I am the undisputed master of this ship (at least while I am up alone). My gaze stretches out to the dawning beauty beyond the bow, even beyond imagining.
Darkness lies upon the lake,
The moon, glow scarce emitting
The water quiet, unawake,
The sun, yet un-committing.
A cool breeze stirs the haze, sending wisps of creamy fog spinning over liquid glass.
Vapor twists, and dancing mists
Twirl ‘cross the mirrored face,
Black water teased, caressed and kissed,
By ghosts of whisking lace.
Near the mouth of the cove is a statue of a heron, a lonely, stony sentinel. Once in a long while the statue moves, shuffling impatiently on rigid stilts. A natural born killer in the mist. A hunter in our midst.
Great heron stands past point of land,
Sole sentry by the shore,
Greedy for next meal at hand,
Cold eyes the depths explore.
In the east, the sky accumulates light, or sheds darkness -- perhaps it is the same. The hungry heron spots something that we, with our grounded human eyes, can never hope to see. Snatching at the water, breakfast secure, he wings away. Deserting the dawn. Disappearing from sight. Leaving me with my coffee, and the morning sun just rising.
My gaze shifts down to the sparkling surface of the lake before the bow.
Stillness now is broken,
Moving point, a tiny wake,
Becomes a rippling chevron,
Cast behind a swimming snake.
Bold, and very brave, young snake
To swim in light of dawn.
But no great worry now, I’d stake,
You’re safe, the heron's gone.
Sunshine sears the mist, vanishing the fog. Like battle broken with the night, the morning sky and daylight win. The good guys.
New morning, warming, on the lake,
In light, I sit alone,
And if I could a moment take,
This one, I’d make my own.
Over-easy day in sight,
An omelet would be fine.
The heron's lost his appetite,
But I am finding mine.
Time for breakfast. Uninspired toward practical matters, the Muse takes leave, and I head for the galley. Perhaps if I rattle skillets loudly enough, Roxanne will get up and help with the biscuits.
Or better yet, take charge.