By Mark David Blum, Esq.
In the quiet still and peace of the dawn, I stand askew. Leaning against the side of sliding door out to the patio and beyond, I quickly suckle my butt and curse the cold. My glassine eyes scan the surroundings and canvass the neighborhood. Everything is in place and seems right. All along the hilltops, a far beyond blaze oranges up the tree line. Sunlight is creeping its way toward me. The false prophet of warmth is moments away.
It is quiet. Other than the occasional car, the streets and alleyways of Manlius are serene. As the sky moves from black to light, purple to red to blue, peace is at hand. People remain asleep and warm in their caves and covens. Creatures and critters of all shapes and sizes are dug in and hiding from the frigid air. The cold brings on great silence in the pre dawn hours. With the rising sun comes the rising din of humanity at work and play. Until then, mere visions are at play as eyes stare out beyond the glass.
What doth the day bring? In the span of slightly more than 24 hours, peace has been pierced by the sudden death of a friendís almost ex-wife and another bouncing-baby-puppy-ate-my-phone-and-medicine story. Everybody has problems of varying degrees. Yet in these quiet serene moments before the arrival of the day, all problems are in abeyance. People sleep and dream and feel no pain. In the peace before the dawn, we are all just sloths in pajamas, no different than one another. Until the rise of humanity, we are all just people trying to hunch along through life. Until the arrival of the sun and the start of the day, we can claim a moment of peace before we man up and enter the fray. In the quiet solitary moments, think hard and let your mind dare to wander. Remind yourself that it can get a lot worse and be thankful for what you have and where you are.
The creaking of the trees is what I love to hear. Frozen sap and water inside the trunk causes the timbers to creak with each gust. Trees groan and moan against the frosty breeze. Limbs shriek and creak. An occasional pop as a trunk surrenders to the gust will rouse you from your dreams. In the peace of the dawn, only the trees should be heard.
Standing watch over a sleeping world is a lofty perch upon which to roost. A new President has been inaugurated but it is I who stands that wall this morn. He does not see what I see and knows not what I know. The world beneath me is awakening to a new American dawn. I wonder how my view will change in four years. What new worlds await in the rising sun? Will I still be standing here; firmly implanted as overseer of the darkness before the dawn. When the sun is in full shine, my job here will be finished. No longer do I need to stand watch over the sleeping. The sun and the day will take over. It is the same every day.