I pause in my old man's ritual: bed to bathroom to bed. It is dark and quiet. In the next room a tiny voice from my talking watch says quietly, "It's five o'clock, M." (A programming glitch omits the A in AM. That's okay. If you don't know the difference between AM and PM you need more than a watch to keep your time straight.)
I live in the city. It is a small city, but like cities everywhere, it is never totally quiet. A city "hums", always hums. Through the open window comes the sound of tires on pavement, trash trucks making early morning pick up, a train. But at five 'M'. they sound soft and far away. I listen for familiar night sounds, crickets, frogs, dogs barking. Nope, none of that.
The moon is nearly full, it shines upon the Starbuck's parking lot. It is mainly lost there in the parking lot lamps. A predawn glow lightens the sky to the east. Morning in the city. A gentle reminder of other mornings in my life. It is nice to pause and enjoy.
I remember one particular morning in Hesperia, on the California high desert, at a moment like this. I paused near an open window and heard the familiar night sounds, including the crickets and frogs and owls and barking dogs. The moon shone clearly and the sounds came from distant ranches. A car passed and you could clearly follow its passing until it was a full two miles away.
There have been far too few moonlight walks on the beach, moonlight walks in the snow in my eighty years. Too little boating to watch the moon set and the sun rise over the water. Oh, how I relish these memories.
Just think, I might have slept through this wonderful moment.