Summer is over, and at 5:30 a.m. the morning walk starts out dark.
I think of the song that gambler Sky Masterson sings in Guys and Dolls: “My time of day is the dark time,/ A couple of deals before dawn./ When the street belongs to the cop/ And the janitor with the mop,/ And the grocery clerks are all gone./ When the smell from the rain-washed pavement/ Comes up clean and fresh and cold/ And the streetlamp light fills the gutter with gold …”
Of course, the song is about going to bed late, not getting up early, but as Sir Andrew Aguecheek says in Twelfth Night, “to be abed late is to be up betimes.” In other words, what’s the difference? (Sir Andrew was a role I played with distinction in my all-girls high school. My mother’s comment was she hoped never again to see me in that awful shade of pink.)
In the early morning, I don’t necessarily see streetlamp lights filling the gutter with gold, but they do make shifting oak-leaf shadows on the sidewalk. A porch light shining behind vines trained up ropes is pretty in the dark, too. Window-shopping can be peaceful with no crowds on the sidewalk, and there’s always at least one shop with something in the window I plan to check out on Saturday.
And should I suddenly feel a tune from Guys and Dolls coming on – well, there’s no one around to care if I go a bit flat.