(*Lift up your hearts)
I get up just before the sun to walk Lulu. My Dad called staying in bed after you wake up ‘scugging’, – I am not a scug.
The first few minutes are mostly muzzy: where are my shoes? Fill the bird feeder or the bird shrieks until its fed, waking herself… why am I doing this thoughts begin seeping up….
Then Lulu woofs and I go to her room and she kisses me and bounces around making soft growly joyous sounds.
As we step outside the cool freshness is sublime.
Morning skies this week have been blue with high wispy wind clouds tinged pink by early sunlight. This morning they were swollen, lowering grey with a hint of purple. Maybe it will rain.
At the end of the street, two stone curlews freeze and pretend invisibility. Lulu suspects something but is not sure.
We are heralded by the butcher birds who whistle and chortle from tree to tree. The kookaburra leads us across the park.
Under the big gum tree that is shedding its winter bark and displaying its new pastel green skin, two crows are examining something on the path. They shout squawk off but flee as I approach. Their interest was not a blue tongued lizard as I had thought, but an Australian wonder: a squirrel glider.
Such a pretty little thing! It hopped towards me miaowchirping as if to say thank you, pleasecanIwalkwithyou. I said No and herded it to a tree waving away a persistent crow. It scrambled up and was soon safely out of sight. A lovely little animal – I have not seen one before.
We walk on under a fig tree quivering with breakfast birds and past the silly ducks that think I am a feeder. I am not.
Two water dragons stretch their necks, frozen to bathe in the morning sun.
Three magpie geese waddle away from us as we walk down to the bridge.
Lulu tries to ignore the purple swamp hens (pukeko in New Zealand) who gallump across the path on their long feet and the bush turkey scuffling on its mound of leaves which it uses to keep its eggs warm.
Back up the path, we meet Harry a big grinning chocolate Labrador for a sniff and a smile. Then home again.
Let us give thanks and praise.
Dignum et justum est. It is right and just