It was still dark at 5:45 AM, but by the time I got to mile three, the sun was just starting to light up the eastern horizon. It was a "rainbow" of sunrise colors layering the sky: A deep burnt red, dark orange, shades of peach and apricot, and then pink, as the light reached up into the night skies. Along this stretch of my route is a large pond and often, in the early mornings, its surface is broken by the ripples of fish as they jump out of the water and drop back in with a splash.
This morning a large heron swooped just a few feet above me and landed gracefully on the edge of the pond. It stood stark still, its profile reflecting in the water and the sunrise painting his white feathers with a touch of gold. A little flurry of ripples appeared in the water near where the bird stood, as living creatures beneath the surface detected the heron's presence.
Just then I looked up and spotted a formation of ducks fly by. They were picture-perfect black shapes in precise formation sillhouetted against the orange sky. They surely sense the change...the hint of cool weather in the air, the coming of fall with its crisp nights and cool days. Soon there will be many formations in the skies - ducks, geese, cranes - as they head for their wintering grounds along the Gulf Coast of Texas. It's a spectacular sight, and a reminder that we are all part of the Circle of Life.
In the circle of life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
'Til we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life
~ Elton John, Circle of Life