Walking Diary: Counting Chickens Five Minutes Before Sunrise

Five Minutes Before Surise Walking

Early each morning I try to take a walk just before the sun rises above the horizon. Mindfulness, exercise, brainstorming, planning all percolate as I head uphill with the sun rising behind me. I’m out so early that I’ve seen deer, rabbits, and those furry creatures that aren’t in plain sight as the days get busy. During these walks, I used to have an odd obsession — counting things.

When I was a child back in Highland Park, Michigan, one of my most favorite memories is coming out either on Christmas Day just before the sun came up, standing out just listening… seeing fresh snow blanketing everything and just looking up into a slowly brightening, brilliant blue sky loving that particular moment alone. 

Christmas early morning memories
Pixabay, Trees And Cars Covered By Snow, Pexels.com

Why Five Minutes Before Sunrise

I walk very early for two reasons: 

  1. A few minutes before the sunrise it won’t be too hot or too cold. During winter layering up and gloves cover the lowest temps and getting out before the sun gets too high beats the summer heat; and
  2. Avoiding the parade of cars stampeding down Hillcrest Parkway and avoiding the fumes spewing from large vehicles racing to and fro. 

To practice mindfulness and focus, I count the vehicles either going downhill or headed uphill.

Where are people going on Christmas Day at 7 o’clock in the morning? Where are they returning from on Christmas this early? My mind loses focus, racing with ideas and scenarios – are they leaving a midnight shift and returning home to catch the family as they begin to open presents? Or to hop in bed and catch a couple of hours sleep before the house begins to stir? Are people going to visit friends and family (even during Coronavirus and an unprecedented spike)? Working on Xmas Day? That sucks…

The Final Countdown

As I turned onto my street signaling the end, I saw eight walkers and 23 cars (12 going uphill and downhill). Now, to the market and back to the family for more Xmas.

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