I've thought of country mornings a lot of times when I was struggling into another day, far removed from those early beginnings.
I've missed the "leisure" of "working by the sun," rather than under the stern eye of the ever-glaring clock. I've missed those mornings when I could lie in bed a few extra minutes, savoring the return to wakefulness.
I've missed the sounds that filled the spaces between the trees back then. Now it's the sounds of the cars and trucks and buses that echo off the buildings and clog our senses.
What I've missed most, I think, is the sound of a cow bell coming to me from a meadow just beginning to fill with light.
Now that was music to a young boy's ears.
And now, the poem:
THAT NEW DAY
Sounds came crawling across the coolness
of the damp night air, climbed into the cot
where I lay stretching to touch the sides
of that new day. A screen door squeaked
open, then shut again. A tractor groaned,
fired up, deep, throaty song floating to me
like a breeze. Struggling early light visited
a hint of warmth high on the hilltop trees,
an image of candy-apple red slowly rising
in my mind's eye over the wooded brow
of the opposite ridge. A cow bell clanked
into the silence the tractor left as it went
rolling off toward a waiting field; so long
ago, but like yesterday. And I hear it now.
(published in Brave Hearts, summer 2005)
Today's word: meadow