Early Birds

Every morning since the move, I've been waking up super early to catch the school's service bus. It's incredible how many of these service buses are crawling down small streets and speeding down big avenues, picking up students and teachers. Sleepy teachers, rush to the bus stop, shuffling down the still dark streets with book bags in tow. We all rush and wind like busy, determined ants. Waddling down the street in my bulky winter jacket, my backpack tugging at my shoulders with every step, it's hard not to feel like I've been beamed back to elementary school.

Still, I'm starting to like the routine, and I really can't complain. Sometimes it pays to wake up early. You get to see things that the less early risers rarely see: bakeries opening with dogs waiting outside for a scrap, Istiklal Caddesi, usually brimming with people, still as a morgue, the full moon hanging low between buildings, still curled up in its golden glow. One of the most beautiful and breathtaking sights has been the swallows doing their morning dance... or is it their rain warning dance? They swoop low and swarm in tightly choreographed patterns, never missing a beat. Swelling and thinning, morphing from a chest puffed with pride, to a calm stream, to a heart pumping blood, to a relief-filled exhalation, and a menacing raincloud. They look as if they're spinning epic tales in metaphors and movement. Omens and pure beauty.

Another advantage to getting up so early is that I've been noticing the days getting longer. The sun flashing its hot pink boa a little earlier and earlier each day. It's got me daydreaming about spring....


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