The sky is beginning to turn pink on the horizon. The birds have been singing for a while now. I am counting my breaths. I breath in for a count of ten then I  hold it for a count of three and breath out for a count of fifteen. Or that’s the plan anyway. I do it perfectly for five or six times and then my mind wanders.

When I was little my father told me that to catch a bird all you had to do was put salt on its tail. The irony of this instruction escaped me. I sometimes think there is some irony that I am missing when it comes to the breathing exercise.

I close my eyes and try again. This time I establish a good rhythm. I keep it up for much longer than I had before. And then I feel the sun breaking over the horizon and shining on my closed eye lids. It is so profound that I forget myself again. I quit counting but continue breathing in and out slowly and deeply. I don’t know how long I keep it up. Finally, I open my eyes and hold my hand up to shade them from the sun.

I stand up and dust myself off. I walk briskly back to the apartment. I am greeted by joyous barks from the puppy. She is wagging her tail so hard I’m afraid she’s going to give herself whiplash. I pick her up and she licks my face. She puts her head on my shoulder for a minute and then starts to wriggle. She wants down. Who can stay still when they have this much pent up energy?

Fiction is best which starts with some universal truth and spins out from there. Sunrise, meditation, and puppy love. What can be truer than that?

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.