My name is the great irony of my life. Don’t get me wrong – I love the dawn; it’s a beautiful and magical time of day (especially if you’ve got a camera in your hand). It’s just that I’m a night owl by nature and mornings don’t come easy for me. My sixteen-year-old son runs cross country, which currently forces me out of bed before 6 a.m. twice a week. I really love walking outdoors in the still of early morning, although I can’t seem to manage it those other five days of my own free will.
Saturday morning we left before sunrise for a cross country meet that was a good distance from home. At 8:30 we joined the runners and a mix of spectators to walk the mile-and-a-half course before the race began. Toward the end, my four-year-old daughter and I lagged behind the pack as we searched for a never-found stick in the bottom of her sandal, and that is when the early morning light began to work its magic and the camera came off of my shoulder.
Old stone chimneys fascinate me, standing in silent tribute of homes and times that are no more. I wonder what stories they would tell if they could speak. As my daughter and I walked, we made our way towards a pair of them, facing each other on the edge of the course. Her questions echoed my own:
What happened to the house?
Who lived here?
This fence ran beside the house and made me think of one of my favorite Robert Frost poems, “Mending Wall”:
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…
I was blessed with very sweet one-on-one time with my daughter, some picture-perfect moments, and ideal weather. My son shaved 30 seconds off of his best race time, so the day was quite successful in that regard, too.