Seventh Morning, San Diego
Back here this morning at the in-laws, some 13 miles out into San Diego County, the sounds of the early morning – the dawning music – so very different from our last five mornings at the beach. Upon first awakening, and noticing stars out and up from the back slider, so as to indicate no marine layer this far out today, I step out back into the highway drone of maybe endless cars on their way carrying their drivers to work, most likely, or maybe medical appointments, or yoga at the studio. Whatever the destination, freeway 125 North and South offers up a constant backdrop to the dawning.
A California morning and I am up by 5:15, the only one awake in this house. But others – noise makers – are up and about in the neighborhood, in yards a block or two away and in abutting houses. The first I hear is a rooster. When I was a kid in Massachusetts roosters said this – “Cock a doodle do.” It still sounds like that here in San Diego this morning, though the accent is different out here in the west, it seems, from my New England roots. I like that. The rooster has front and center stage to himself for a while, all through my 17 minutes of meditation and first cup of coffee and Mary Oliver essay before the dogs take over.
And boy, do they take over. They are a crowd and they howl and yap, one is clearly snarling – bad attitude dog – and sometimes here and there one dog will moan – for it surely is a moan – and two others will join the moaning in a harmony of moans, three-part moan, and immediately my mind goes to “Lady and the Tramp”, though I honestly don’t remember if there is that particular doo wop of dog in that particular movie, or instead an aural reflection woven through my memory of that childhood time. In a way it is kind of cool, the harmonizing, but added together (with all the soloists) the whole dog thing is a drag, and beyond the ear-grating and who-needs-an-alarm-clock noise, that crowd drowns out the rooster. Which pretty much sucks.
Yesterday I saw on-line a news story of three pit bulls attacking and killing a nine-year old girl in Detroit. I cannot imagine her terror, or the depths of her parents grief. I can’t come close. I had a dog when I was a kid – Taffy, a best friend – but beyond that I’ve never been much of a dog person. Today, here this morning, and after yesterday’s news, I’m even less of one.
I’ve always been a cat person. I was a runner/jogger for more than 25 years of my life, and never once was I chased by a cat. Plus, I like the way cats, at any moment and rather whimsically, can tell you to piss off. I like that a lot.
Cats, roosters, and dogs for me, this morning, my last day here in San Diego.