I write this today from a basement breakfast room in a Best Western in St. George, Utah. The room is packed with familes and older couples and the air is filled with the smell of coffee and the occasional beeping of the waffle-iron's timer. My two girlfriends are asleep in the hotel room, tired from late-night gabbing after last night's musical Footloose at Tuacahn, the gorgeous outdoor amphitheater north of town.
But this morning I'm not thinking about last night's show, although it was made complete by the goat who pooped onstage. And they even re-enacted the tractor competition scene from the movie (when Kevin Bacon wins because his shoelace got stuck) and used two real tractors, one of which crashed and caused the bad-guy to fall in a pond.
Instead, this morning I'm thinking of the beauty of morning. As I walked across the parking lot toward the free breakfast, I met several peoploe walking back with cups of coffee. Each of them greeted me with a "Good morning!" and a smile. Strangers are friendlier in the morning.
It was fun leaving my girlfriends asleep and breaking out on my own today. I've always valued my alone time, gaining strength and focus in my solo trips or strolls. In fact, the last time I visited my friend Laurie in California I set my alarm two hours earlier than hers, just so I could sit on the beach alone - alone with five surfers, two fishermen, countless seagulls, and a brave sand crab.
Waking up extra early reminds me of the excitement I felt as a kid when Mom would wake me up for special occasions, like the start of a road trip, preparations for a holiday get-together, or even to stumble, sleepy-eyed, to the TV to watch a pretty lady named Diana become a princess.
Today, mornings represent waking up before dark to catch an early flight for a welcomed vacation, or getting up early enough to warm up my voice before an audition. Early mornings suggest that big things are in store.
But best of all, I love heading out early for a walk with George. The world is quiet then, the weather is gentle, and the world almost vibrates with the promise of what is to come. Oh, the possibilities.