It’s six o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting in the lounge drinking lemon and ginger tea and eating Belvita breakfast biscuits. It’s my quiet time. Everything seems still to be asleep, that is all except the birds. A family of great tits are at the feeder, two parents feeding two babies. Beneath the feeder two woodpigeons wait expectantly for accidental seed droppings. Of the nesting blue tits there is no sight, parents and babies must have flown away at the onset of dawn. A pity that, I would have liked to see them emerge from the box that has been their home for a couple of months.
As I watch a fox wanders into the garden. He walks across the grass towards the opposite side where there is a second feeding station. I am only half awake; it takes several minutes before I remember to take a picture of the animal.
I reach to the coffee table for the camera; try to unzip the carry case. The case has two zips, both meeting in the middle, and they invariably get tangled with the camera’s wrist strap. By this time foxy has disappeared into the bushes at the side of the garden. Silently cursing, I put down the camera and go back to my cup of tea.
Five minutes later foxy re-emerges. I grope once again for the camera. Foxy heads off down the garden while I’m still trying to remove the camera from the case. The more I speed up the more my fingers act like they’re a bunch of thumbs. Finally the camera is extricated and I aim it at the window. I can’t see the fox but I click the button anyway. Too late, I thought. But the picture shows otherwise, I had managed to get his rear end before it disappeared up the steps to another path.
I love these quiet hours. Same time, every day there is silence, a wonderful unbroken calm, so hushed I hold my breath for fear of creating a disturbance. Even the birds are respectful, twittering and wing flapping seemingly not allowed; just soundless movement around the feeders.
Apart from the birds and a random fox there is no infiltration of the all embracing peace, even the breeze is at rest. Time seems to stand still, except that the clock proves otherwise. It doesn’t last long, half an hour at the most, but long enough for me to take stock and thank the Lord for giving me this special time to ponder and prepare and count my blessings without the hindrance of everyday life. I am deeply grateful!