By William H. White, Jr.
I grew up in the country. My favorite time of day there is early morning. It is a time of quiet and reflection few will ever know outside of the fields and streams of my home. I remember well the springtime mornings as I went about my chores.
Early morning is so quiet that you can hear the breath of sleeping animals, the distant murmuring of the stream, and the darkness of night slowly giving way to the brilliance of day.
Slowly towards the east the hills begin to take shape out of the dark. Orange fingers outline them and begin to push back the gloom of night. The stars begin to vanish as the horizon turns a light pink, then orange, then purple. The palate of sunrise brings a beauty and expectancy to the new day. Then almost imperceptibly the black canvas is painted blue as the yellow orb of the sun makes it first appearance.
In the distance roosters crow, cattle begin to low, calves begin to suckle, and horses stamp the ground shaking off sleep. From somewhere the bleating of sheep wafts across the scene. Dewdrops drip softly from newly blossomed rosebuds and fall noiselessly the ground. Morning glories stretch and open to take in the warmth of the suns first rays.
Overhead, a sparrow takes to wing in search of food for her young. In the distance a red-tailed hawk climbs into the sky looking for his breakfast. A profusion of color bursts to the skies as blue jays, cardinals, mocking birds and many more join in the hunt. On the power lines the first gathering of crows begins to form.
Occasionally, out in the field, deer can be seen. The mighty buck standing proud with his antlers on display for the world to see, while the quiet doe begins to eat. Soon the small fawns will join the family and perpetuate the herd.
Dogs and cats lazily make their way to eat. They stretch and yawn and walk stiffly to their bowls to wait for food. Small brightly colored lizards dart about to find a good place to sun themselves and hopefully be safe from predators.
As the mist burns away and leaves the damp grass glistening lime stalks of diamonds reflected in the new light of day, I stand in silence drinking in the beauty of the morning. Yet all this beauty pales in comparison to the beauty of your smile.