I stand shivering at the edge of the field as the sun rises, watching the dog tear round the frozen field. There is a crow… it has to be chased, apparently, but all I catch on camera is a black blur of speed. That may be partly due to the fur and feather brigade’s obvious enjoyment of the high speed chase, but is more likely due to the frost bitten tremor of my fingers.
My own fault, of course; but going out in the dark means you don’t see what the morning has in mind… and Ani does not allow you the time to reconsider whether or not gloves and scarf are in order. She bounds through the open door like a bullet from a gun, dragging the poor unfortunate at the controlling end of the leash with her. I say ‘control’ but that is an ironic misnomer at this point of the proceedings. Her excitement knows no bounds and every day is an adventure for her which she greets with gusto. It is a daily reminder of how to live, this bouncing off into the unknown, embracing the day and its surprises. On mornings this cold, however, beating a rapid retreat seems preferable to me.
It has not yet been really bitter cold, not like this morning where the frost is winter thick, the cars encased in feathered ice and the unexpected freeze bites deep. I realise that I should have known… the darkness was less complete this morning as I glanced out of the window. That much had registered in the pre-caffeinated fog of my brain. Of course, it will be lighter if the world is white. And I can’t use the camera with gloves anyway.
The dog has disappeared completely… the fields are wide here, there is space for her to run in safety across the crisp surface. The rising gold sets fire to the last stand of autumn in the little copse and I watch ice crystals grow on the leaves of next year’s spring. Does it matter if I freeze when I can witness the beauty of a morning? Is comfort worth more than adventure and is the temporary pain of frozen fingers too high an offering for a sunrise? I think not. Ani is a good teacher.