I am up early this morning, wide awake at 4:15. Was there a sound that startled me? Did my husband stir and wake me? I don’t know, but I am wide awake now and there’s nothing for it but to get up.

So I slip out of bed and down the stairs, to the siren call of the coffee pot and the dark windows of the predawn. I stand at the kitchen counter willing the coffee to drip faster. It’s early, so why am I in such a hurry? Why am I so restless in what should be the calmest bit of my day?

With coffee finally in hand, I make my way to my favorite morning perch, that end of the couch near the windows that see the first of the day. As I sip coffee, the first gray tinges of light begin to silhouette dark trees against ghostly snow.

More gray now, more faintly emerging details of the perfect stillness of a 3-degree morning. The whole world is still. Patiently waiting for the daily miracle: that elongated glorious hour when Sol makes his climb and births the new day.

A little lighter now, but utterly still. I try to be still too, to soften my breath, like a doe scenting the wind in the silent forest. I still my restless fidget, slow my breath, slow my mind and join the quiet waiting world.

And then, there it is. A distinct copper line, thin as a hair, but brilliant, like a taut filament extending across the entire horizon. Breathe. Be still. Don’t break the spell. Soon the thin line is thickening, expanding upward, less copper than coral now, blending perfectly into the brightening blue of an exquisitely clear, cold morning.

What is that color between the soft orange glow of the horizon and the shy blue of early morning? Are some colors too elusive to be bounded by an alphabet?

I see it as it lingers there in its impermanent perfection, but I cannot name it. And then it is gone, giving way to the bluer, more ordinary light of dawn.

The moment has passed, and more important, will never come again. This dawn, this sunrise, this moment of still awareness of the unity of all things, will never come again. Tick tock, mind the clock.

The world is waking now. Birds stir and branches crack and pop as the sun tips their tops.

Sol is climbing. Higher. Bigger. Brighter. The great amber ball of sunrise giving way to the blinding yellow sun of true morning.

My restlessness has been replaced with something else now.

The calm, centered knowingness that I am exactly where I should be. Even as the cold cuts my face on snowy path to the paper box, I know this is my place.

Maine fills my cup. It fills me with so many things, so many moments, that I didn’t even know I was missing. Don’t miss it. Take a moment, take it in and let it fill you up.