It is nearly five in the morning and the dawn light is filtering through the curtains. For an hour I have been up, after having been woken by some clowns who decided to have some fireworks fun outside my window. All is tranquil again, though, and the air is ringing with the orchestra of crickets, winding down the finale of the night. The trees are so still I can feel the soil breathe.
In about an hour my alarm will go off and the business of activities will intervene. My wife and I will join two friends and go for a two day hike in Yatsugatake, a range of mountains that yearly draws me almost like a spiritual fulcrum. The weather forecast says rain, as it nearly always does whenever I plan a hike recently, but the release of the strings to my apartment will make all the difference, as will, of course, the comfort of watching and joining good friends in laughter and stories. It’s been a long time.
Color hasn’t yet infiltrated the scenery outside. The greens of the false acacia and the errant avocado still harbor the grays of midnight and the horizon has yet to toss up the fireball of the sun. An in-between time that half echoes the voice of my thoughts, where my night self and my day self meet at the parting of some inchoate veil. It is as if my breath incorporates my spirit, hanging inside and out, not quite corporeal, and yet imaginary at the same time. If I were to wake up to the world one day to the absence of humanity, this is what the city might feel like. For a while. Before my own realization of lost purpose.
I lift my eyes to the sky, now brightening and introducing birds. I wager the first call will be the brown-eared bulbul’s, always brash and brave and eager to get going. It is the kind of cheery attitude that makes waking and forging on worthwhile; the kind of spirit that walkers in the mountains seem to wear on their sleeves. It is perhaps the basis of my faith; heralding life as it is and rejoicing in yet another turn of the great circle.