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I find myself waking up before the alarm goes off. I push back the sheet, roll over, let my feet reach for the floor, while my arms stretch over my head. My imagination creates an anticipation for the lovely walk ahead, in just a few minutes.

As dawn lightens the sky, I'm going to see a murder of crows on the topmost branches of the neighbor's enormous mulberry tree. Startle a squirrel who is busily gnawing on some kind of palm nut. Wave good morning to walkers headed in the other direction.

The air is clear, crisp, and cool this morning, as heady as a fine wine. As I pass jasmine bushes and vines, I can smell the light scent. The cat underneath eyes me with suspicion, but is not truly afraid. People have treated him with kindness; but I am not his special person.

The breath goes in and out of my lungs. My heart pumps blood, faithfully keeping me alive. I rejoice in another day and am grateful for life.

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