Dew Damp Dawn

Dave Smith

Early.  Real early.  Sun still below world lays greylit early.  Humidity hangs heavy on droops of poplar and oak branches like a rain damp spider web enticing gleeful prey.  Still.  Noisily soundless still.  Only my brain rustles, not the leaves sweating already in a promised heat-hushed day.  I track the dew; my barefoot meander only imagines a chill – no cool will come this day.  Heat index warnings, humidity predictions, storms could pop.  On the farm dad just said, “Gonna be a hot one, glad the hayin’s done.”  Didn’t need a prognosticator, heck, didn’t have a contraption called a “TV” to get the weather.  Old radio standing in the living room was set for evening listens, not news from which to plan the work day.  I imagine dad just looked out the window when he awoke – early.  Real early.  Sun still below the cornfield horizon early.  Leaves and ears hanging heavy and the time for “listenin’ to the corn grow” long past.  Ripening corn had its own identity in a breeze, but only his brain rustled with plans – and a farm that could no longer support his family.

A little bench built into the swing-slide-rope climb-playhouse playset invites my sit this day.  Yea, my shorts get wet on the seat, but that’s the price for thinks when beating the sun.  Soon a ray or two will peek above a rooftop, but the neighborhood seems to resist adding shine to the dawn.  Cling to the milder time, hope for a breeze, get refreshed before meshed in a long day on two different 5 acre mowing jobs.  I shake my head.  “Retired.”  Dad never really did.  He just lost his way thanks to Alzheimer’s.  Mom kept him going with measuring help on projects and little nudge reminders of to do’s and to don’t’s.  And names, like mine.  I enjoy the mows, the escape in the headset, sound deadener ear muffs I wear.  The drone, deep and mellow, almost like the saxophone blues I often enjoy, eats up the time and spews think after think from the deck outlet.

The sun wins, little by little.  A sadness holds me this morn.  Over the past few weeks it snuck into my bones, each little arthritis ache a pinch, a nip eating away at some of my trustful, hopeful, joyful fabric.  Never really could put my finger right on it.  Lachy Doley comes to mind just now, a great song “Just the Blues Talkin’” about covers it for me.    He plays the Hammond Organ and sings with his band – “Sometimes I feel, I gotta call it a day – I’m wastin’ money on a dream that just won’t pay…But I know that’s just the blues talkin’…”  Once again the Holy Spirit has joined me and in think, helped to clear me.  If I but take time to notice, God is here.  See, the sadness came from an anger, of too much attention on my part to a feeling of hypocrisy reeling and rocking around my days.  I let the feeling be the reeling – and my back turned on myself.  That happens – I think to many of us.  We see or hear and extrapolate our own way and pretty soon we’re a’reeling about some such don’t know we shouldn’t stress about anyway.  Pray more, stress less.  Give it up to God, live my life as best I can.  I can’t live someone else’s.  I forgot for just a while that if I truly believe life plays out according to God’s plan for me, for us, I have to accept what is as part of that plan, part of that bell curve of learning His way.

Early.  Childlike early.  Be a child in my faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  I shoot of light trickles between the bending pine boughs.  “Gonna be a hot one alright.”  Thanks Father.