Dawn was at least an hour and a half away, the winter stars of the early morning barely visible through the fog that shrouded the hills, even hiding the nearby trees and houses. Only the dim lights of the early risers in their fog-shrouded shapes gave any hint that anyone else was here.
There was silence, except for the breeze that occasionally shook the last of the night’s raindrops from the trees, scattering wet across the lane, black on black, wisps of fog highlighted by the last of the quarter moon high in the southern sky.
In the distance, a dog barked, and, nearby, a bird glided from my side, then behind me, leaving me to only imagine that it may have been an owl, or a hawk on a predawn patrol. The only other sound my footsteps, rhythmically marching down the lane, headed home, knowing that the coffee was done now, ready to be poured into my waiting mug.
It would freeze soon, thinly coating my car’s windshield with opaque film, but now, dew rolled down the glass, the air thick with wetness from the night’s rain. This morning’s swirls of fog, even now hiding most of my path this morning, damping the noises of my walk, even the crow of the neighbor’s rooster, and the soft sounds of the sheep, readying themselves for another day of pasture life, and a bit of alfalfa.
At last, I opened the front door, warm air, the lights of the living room, and the aroma of fresh coffee drawing me in, my shoes tossed onto their shelf, the handle of the coffee pot fitting well in my cold hand, as I hear the sweet gurgles of hot coffee filling the hollow center of the mug, steam rising to fill my nostrils. Heat soon warms my hands, as I clutch the mug, and begin to open the morning paper.