Step outside in the still dark morning. Close your eyes. Listen. Morning glories stop me in my tracks—what stops you and makes you take notice?

It’s changing. The summer sounds are fading. The wild cacophony of spring that shifted into the confident, strong sounds of summer is muted. Not done yet .  . . not done yet . . . not done yet.

Step outside early in sky brightening morning. Feel.

The grass was not silver-tipped this morning, though grass was heavy with dew. Your feet begin to ache like they do at the beach when the wet sand tells you it will be hard to get into the water.

Step outside under a sky pale with clouds. Look

The basil is starting to get anemic and you need still to make more pesto. The crabgrass loved this dry summer. Your feathery cosmos were felled by the heavy rains a few days ago. Your dahlias still smile, even where they droop. A bird darts across the garden and then away.

Turn back to the house where your feet will be warm. Turn back to the house where hot coffee waits for you. Turn back to the house and see one—two—three—four morning glories singing praise the day. Stretch back, raise your face to the sky.

Breathe deep. Forget the change in night sounds and the tired plants. Breathe in this moment, the cold dew, the deep red, the feather fronds, the sky-blue trumpets. Open to this day.

I’ve been starting my day this week by stepping outside and just noticing—the smell of damp earth, the rattle-clank of a truck sounding Writing prompt: Step outside right now. What do you notice?particularly loud in the half-darkness, shape of the trees still bearing all their greenery.

Step outside. Be still. What do you notice?