TOP O' THE MORN: Focusing on winter mornings

Dawn was heralded by a soft glow behind the Cascade mountains, a glow which deepened, outlining each peak and lighting the foothills. Waters of the bay reflected the light while bare limbs of trees stood starkly silhouetted against the morning light.

To the southwest, the Olympic mountains waited breathlessly as each snowfield came bathed in a rosy hue, dark canyons streaking the undergirding of pale blue mist.

And far to the south, Mount Rainier stood sentinel between the ranges, her eastern slopes tinged with morning light, her cloud-cap jauntily in place.

These are only the vanguards of a Whidbey Island midwinter morning. Closer, tall fir trees stand in somnolent wonder at another day on the point while Crooked Spit glistens, its arm guarding the softness of the bay.

On the bluff across from the point the first rays of sun glint from morning windows. And suddenly the whole of the morning sky is reflected with little flecks of clouds dappling the glory of the sunrise.

Bare trees that so few weeks ago were full with leaves of fall raise limbs to the sky. Far from deserted, the bare limbs fill with teeny birds … tiny fluffs of feathers that move with lightning speed; a seagull perches on a light pole and a flock of starlings land complainingly on the lawn.

Brown leaves on the young oak outside the window still cling and thin green stalks of the new laburnum tap knowingly on the pane. “Whether we look or whether we listen, we hear life murmur or see it glisten.”

Inside, the prayer plant unfolds its red-ribbed leaves; the shamrocks sleep, awaiting new growth for March 17; the Christmas cacti vie for the most rewarding cascade of blossoms and the first tiny red bracts of poinsettias that wintered over point their pleasure at the sun.

Across the street now stirring with early workers on their way to the day’s struggle, frost glints whitely on the roof.

A student, clutching his lunch walks briskly, his breath a cloud of white above his bundling.

Another day.

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