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Kathy Bradley: Flirting with the sunrise
Kathy Bradley new WEB
Kathy Bradley - photo by Special

    The color of this early morning in not-quite spring is liquid lavender, is pearly pink, is slightly silver in the way it glints and glows. The sky and the fields and everything in them are shaded as though tinted by a crayon unwrapped and swiped across the countryside with its long barrel, the sharp tip forgotten. Outlines and details are unimportant to the day as it languorously wakens.
    I must be such an irritation, I with my door closing and opening; I with my heels clicking against the cement carport; I with my agitation born of hurry. Morning was not meant to be wasted on such as this, I think as I drive away from the shimmering landscape.
    Five minutes, 2 miles of dirt road and I see the first headlights. With every mile they increase in number, pinpricks puncturing the softness of morning. I remember the packages of needles my mother used to buy, a sheet of crisp red aluminum foil pierced by 12 needles, all placed carefully into their slots. Over time, as Mama used the needles and replaced them, not so precisely, in the foil, it became soft and wrinkled. New holes appeared, connecting to each other, making bigger holes — holes that became slits, then slashes, until the red foil card was something else entirely. That is what the morning sky looks like as car after car after car crests the rise in front of me.
    I pay a lot of attention to the night sky. I have wished upon many a star, talked to many a moon. I have tilted my neck and stretched out my arms from roofs and beaches and yards and stared into blue blackness so deep that it swallowed me up completely. I have gasped and sighed and wept and wondered why I cannot simply reach out and grasp the sterling stillness, clutch it in my fist and hold it close.
    I have not had such a love affair with morning. I have watched the sun rise over water and fencerows and blinked my eyes at the brilliance, but ours has been a platonic relationship. We are so much alike, morning and me: busy and eager and ... productive. No mystery. No seduction. No allure of the unknown.
    Until now. Until this morning. This particular morning, with its whisper of breeze that tugs at my hair and tickles my cheek and turns me, for just a moment, into an ingenue. That makes me want to sit on the steps and stare into the blush that hovers over the treetops, hugging my knees to my chest so that my heart doesn’t fall out. That makes me want to drive and drive and drive toward the warm bubble on the horizon, pulled like a magnet toward the one thing I can never reach.
    So now the light is overhead. The colors are distinct. Edges have appeared. Day is upon me and I am mooning over morning.
    It is reassuring to realize that one can still learn, can still grow, can still change. That after all the living that tends to dull the senses, all the experience that tends to create cynicism, all the birthdays that tend to chronicle fewer and fewer moments of amazement, one can still be caught unawares.
    Tonight I’ll be staring at that splinter of moon dangling over Sandhill, still enamored of its magic and infatuated by its beauty, but tomorrow morning, without a tad of guilt or a smidgen or remorse, I’ll be flirting with the sunrise. When it comes to this astonishing world, I can be gladly polyamorous.

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