Thoughts of all the things that keep me busy these days woke me at 5 A.M. I got up, brewed a quick cup of french roast, and headed outside with my old golden retriever Molly.
We walked into the still pre-dawn. No wind, the air soft with the coolness that comes after the last hot day of summer. The full moon still three hours from setting in the west. Orion–the prime constellation of winter–high in the south.
I live in a rural part of Lake Shastina just north of Mount Shasta. It’s high desert country, and there are only three houses near us, all about 200-300 feet away. I walk slowly between the sagebrush, occasionally entering the moonshadow of a ponderosa pine or western juniper.
The night is so quiet here, no noise from freeways, trains, cars. For a long time I hear nothing, just the thoughts in my head slowly settling.
And then an owl hoots nearby, followed by what is likely another type of owl, calling in a manner I’ve never heard before–repeating six distinct syllables.
More silence. And then the coyotes start, initially just one, but then others in different areas join in. Molly’s ears pick up.
Silence again. I go inside to deal with the wider world.