5:30 moon in the west luminescent on snow, baby sleeping in crook of arm, cat snuggled between my legs, four-year-old calling out, “What time is it?” and blessedly drifting back to sleep. Arm slips out from under baby, cat stirs, I (who love to be alone) tiptoe downstairs (moon following), boil water and pour it into my new, handmade, lovely, big-enough-for-my-tea mug, throw another log on the fire, pull up wool socks, turn on tree lights (luminous, gleaming, luminescent). Water boils and I put a tea bag into my mug in the dark (don’t wake the sleeping child upstairs!), pour water, carry steaming cup to light to find: two bags floating. Last night’s chamomile mixed with this morning’s black. Shit. But don’t make a fuss over it. (Sleeping child!) Sips of tepid, strange tea, fresh cat food in dish, feet near now-blazing fire, new book on my lap (Mink River, so good I awoke in the night smiling), but don’t pick it up now: this quiet in the near-dark too precious, too quickly gone to spend it in another life (I who love to be alone, who loves the early morning darkness, who wants to nothing more than to be. Here. Now.). And then? 6:05. My children. Calling for me. Oh good morning dear ones.