As I understand it, we tend to be either morning risers or night people. I can’t say with certainty if I was born with the early riser’s tendency, but it was certainly nurtured into me. I’ve been getting up before sunrise since I was very young. Those early summer mornings as a teen went mostly unappreciated, I must admit. Rising at 4.30 was to help Mom make umpteen sandwiches for my Dad and brothers to eat during their day of work at the Christmas tree farm. (Corsi Tree Farm is now operated by my brother, visit here) Fried bologna (fritz) sandwiches, unadorned, save a little mustard, is forever in my memory. None of us ever tired of eating them, only of making them! Lunches made, boys and father packed off to the farm, Mom and I would have breakfast and begin our daily chores at home. It was always a good feeling to know most of the day’s hard yakka was done by lunch time.
School started for us at 7.30am, so even when summer was over we had to wake early for five to use one bathroom and get to school and work. At 2.15 in the afternoon the bell would ring and we catapulted from our seats into after school activities or jobs. Growing up in this kind of environment created some very productive people!
These days I wake early, mostly because I can’t sleep any longer. It’s one of life’s ironies that when you reach a stage in life where you have time to sleep, you can’t. However I think I am, at heart, a morning person, so there are worse afflictions that could, and have, happened.
When the light is still tenuous is my very favourite time; moon still visible, a couple of stars perhaps, delicate symphony of morning chorus. If only it could last a little longer. Clear days produce stunning, ombré shaded skies…and flies. Cloudy skies hold the element of surprise…and even more flies. Hard to say which skies I love more. The flies I love not at all. Just this week, pink infused virga, defied gravity, evaporating before reaching the thirsty ground. Cloud and sun played hide and seek, sending shafts of light to illuminate mountain tips, tree tops and grasses before suddenly being swallowed by grey. As a light chaser, I am utterly compelled to photograph all of it, though my efforts are not always successful.
The first part of my walk is the quiet, contemplative stretch that takes me to the back of the golf course along rocky outcrops and where I seldom see any humans, but occasionally a dingo or kangaroo. Galahs tumble from their perches, wheeling through the sky and calling to each other. Occasionally some lunatic crested pigeons try to impress each other with mating manoeuvres while balancing on high wires. To each their own.
The second phase of the walk takes me toward civilisation where I encounter a few early risers like myself. Easing into the day, we nameless regulars make our rounds, loners like me as well as enthusiastic dogs accompanying their more sedate human companions. The last quarter of the walk is up my street where I can see who is moving in and out, who has put in a new garden, who has their garbage bin in place for weekly collection—who hasn’t bothered to bring it in from last week’s collection. Occasionally I have a brief conversation with a neighbour but mostly at that early hour, it is just a wave of recognition.
Sun reaches higher and burns away the long blue shadows of early morning. Soft golden highlights transform into harsh daylight, edging objects with brittle, little black seepages. Gone the promise. Enter reality, where earlier images are but shimmers in my mind.
Good morning from Central Australia.