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A Morning Walker

Mick Stratton


What is the morning walk?

It is two ducks darting by overhead, a rabbit pausing to observe, a squirrel chattering from its tree, a crow cawing in the distance and me, feeling the morning breeze’s gentle kiss, all saying “Thank you God for this glorious day!”

For a couple of years now I have been a Morning Walker. What exactly is a morning walker? A person who leaves the comfort of his bed, dresses (hopefully), shakes the sleep from his eyes and ventures from his abode to stroll through the world of the early morning, thinking, feeling and absorbing the wondrousness of this special time. Included in this is the jogger, cyclist, laborer and others who strike out before the sun is up, delighting in the sights and smells of the morning.  However, since I walk, I shall use that term.

A serious walker will experience the world of morning in all of its various incantations.  He sees the full moon setting in the west as her brother rises in the east, wonderfully clear starry skies, and fantastic combinations of clouds, moon and stars as they move through the heavens in ever varying scenes. Then there are the various views of the sun lifting out of the golden orange horizon into a clear blue sky or painting wonderful pictures of vivid colors caused by a myriad of cloudy displays. Occasionally he is absorbed by the quiet solitude of the slowly graying dawn of a humid cloudy morn, beautiful in its own right.

By observing the moon throughout its various stages, he will notice, over time, that it is dancing across the heavens with Venus, constantly approaching and separating from her.  If he listens closely he may hear them sing their joyous song to the Creator, with the stars harmonizing in the background.

Morning shares with him much more than the heavenly lights. It has wonderful seasonal smells, kisses from its soft subtle breezes, the sounds and movements of small animals in the brush.  It whispers to him to look up and see the shadowy flight of an owl heading home or ducks and other birds enjoying their first flights of the day.

There are other morning walkers who silently stroll by, enjoying the same experiences in their own unique ways.  A camaraderie evolves as he becomes acquainted with them, sharing such phrases as “Good morning,” “Great morning, isn’t it,” “What a fantastic morning,” and “I thought I would be the only one stupid enough to be out on a morning like this.”

It is truly a remarkable world that lies between the mysterious night and the bustling day.

In the beginning I spent most of my walking time listening to language tapes. I have listened to many and varied languages including Spanish, French, Arabic, Greek, Japanese and Chinese. I know that this sounds very impressive, and you must be thinking I am brilliant. If only it were so; unfortunately, studying a language has nothing to do with learning it. If you listened to me speak, you would wonder how I could know so little after so much listening.  It still amazes me.

As time went on, I often had to stop listening because, just like a pernicious child, the morning was demanding my attention.  As I began to bend to its demand I changed my morning pattern.  I would listen to the tapes for a while, pray and thank my Creator for all he had given me, and then listen to the morning to see what it had to say.

I learned to let my mind relax and open up to what was there.  That is when the thoughts started coming; sometimes a few and slowly, and at other times, many and all at once.

This still is my pattern.  The feelings are varied. Mostly it is a feeling of tranquility and inner peace, but at times there are feelings of joy, sadness, awe and fear. Sometimes I feel quite alone, but more often I feel there is an unexplainable presence around me. On several occasions I have felt overwhelmed by the love and protection it exuded, but mostly it is as if I am walking with a comforting companion.

It is during these walks that the vast majority of my thoughts come to me. After a while I began to write them down.  Then I began sending them to friends I thought would enjoy them.  Several have told me I should make a book of them; so here it is, at least some of them.  Whether you agree with them or not, I hope you find them enjoyable.

Book Layout

I am not sure how to classify this book and so therefore I won’t.

It consists of sets of my thoughts separated by a short story and an essay back to another set of thoughts.  The essays, for the most part go into more depth about some of the themes the thoughts address.

Two of the short stories are stand-alone stories but the rest are a continuation of one longer story.

It is written so that the reader can complete a section and pick it up to work on another at a different time.  Enjoy!