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I wake up and I’m outside a lot earlier these days because of the puppy. While I wish I could sleep in, the morning sunrise and the stillness is something I love. I remember the mornings on the ranch when my mother would wake me in the dark, and my father would already be awake drinking his second cup of coffee and listening to the weather radio. The weather was what set his mood—rain was a happy morning and a brisk walk to the barn. When it was bad news, we’d drive the truck, late from listening more to make sure the radio hadn’t changed the forecast in those last few minutes.

The barn was dark and still with only one light on in the tack room, and in the dark corrals, the horses stamped and shuffled, waiting for us to saddle them.

The sunrise would build behind the western hills and the sky would turn from dusky lavender to yellow then orange. The sun was seemed like it didn’t come up for hours (even though it was probably only one hour) as we rode out to find the cattle. When the sun did come, it was blinding and its rays seemed to ignite the sharp yucca leaves and grasses.

The sound of dark morning was always peaceful and silent even with birds chirping and the jingle of spurs, the slushing of horse legs and saddles. Maybe a whistle or low whisper of Spanish about the weather of the work to come.

Unfortunately I get about ten minutes of silence nowadays—from the time I sat down to write this until here on the page.

Now dogs are barking in my house. The senior grandma dog just woke up and she is wheezing and puffing. Chairs are rattling. The kids are humming and buzzing and building fairy houses and singing a song about the puppy to Ode to Joy (boy, that is a big theme in my house). The chickens are cackling to be let out of the pen. Feet are scuffling across our hardwood floors. And my husband is calling my name with a question mark at the end trying to find me to cook breakfast or bring him a dustpan.

Fortunately, I was already outside at 6:30 a.m. and caught this picture of silence (below). See the pretty morning moon. And here are some pictures (2nd and 3rd down) of the ranch so you can get an idea of what it was like. You can look at them and imagine the silence.

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