I like to wake early. I like the animal-quiet of the predawn. I like to bring up the sun and feel he's all mine for the taking. I like the steamy rush of my breath blending with the frosty air. I like to stand very still, imagine I'm just one more redwood in the forest, and wait for the robins to land on my shoulders.
I like to be alone. That way when I shed a tear, I'm free to let it roll down my cheek and wait for the sun to dry it off. That way, when the fog slinks back and the sunrise first breaks the ridge, I'm free to clap and squeal and spin in circles like all the other dawn-crazed birds. That way, I'm just one more creature pressing down into the earth. One more ridiculous, glorious, fallible, survivalist creature.
* * *