I have been waking up early, very early, for the past couple of weeks, just after four thirty. One day it was a dawn cacophony of seagulls come in to town after a few rough wet windy days. They obviously hacked off the crows, because they joined in too. But most mornings it's just the sound of the blackbirds singing, then at five o'clock the first train coming in somewhere from the east.
There's something about this time of year that takes me back to the time my son was a tiny baby. He was born just before midsummer when the nights were as short as my chance to sleep. I was unfamilar then with rising at dawn, woken up by his crying, pulling him into bed for an early morning feed, seeming as if we were the only two people awake in the world. I can still smell his woolly little head, feel the fuzz of his crop of golden hair, the softness of his skin and his guzzling.
I can't quite believe how quickly time has passed. How he grew so fast and so tall. And how I still listen out for him in those long hours before the sun comes up.