The first hours of daylight contain a particular kind of quiet. Exploring a new place while everyone else is still asleep feels like gleeful stealing to me, as delicious as if time stopped for the rest of the world while I alone could still move.
And I forget, in my love of the light at the end of the day, the beauty of the sunlight kissing some things good morning while others are still in shadow, and the mirror of lakes still untouched by the first breeze.
From our campground ran an old road bed, which, I discovered, goes to a neighboring state forest. There I climbed a cutting, taking an almost forty five degree slope to gain more than five hundred feet of altitude.
Yellow star grass (actually an iris relative), mountain laurels, wild geraniums, and one rare (but wilted) bird foot violet greeted me on that slope.
The road continued along the ridge top, as the newly risen sun shone through the trees on one side and lit the valley far beneath me on the other. It was good to be alone, giving my INFP soul some room to breathe and relax a few notches.
When I got back, the mist was still rising off the pond behind our campsite, and it was still peaceful.