Walking through the winter mornings, the one thing that strikes you is the absence of birdsong. The skies are dark, the stars glittering occasionally on clearer nights. The deep blue lightens, but all is silent around you, even as you hear the traffic on the main roads rising as a muted roar.
This morning, walking towards the Big Dipper, I heard a tiny tentative tweet. "Is it time to rise and fly yet?"
"No, not yet. It's just that crazy human who likes to walk in the dark."
The tree tops still maintain their lacy profiles against the lightening sky. The moon is waning, a thinner crescent with the rest of the sphere in deep shadow. The birds start to take up the refrain as I continue to walk, circling back towards home.
I retrace my steps on the last leg. The tweet has now erupted into a full-fledged bird chorus, as more join in on the Welcome to the Dawn. The east is now rosy with promise.