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  • The eastern sky is just a pale rosy streak. A last star or is it Venus. I wish I’d paid more attention in science class or could make heads or tails out of an astoronomy chart. Either way, it is an hour or more till the sun is up and, in eastern Maine, in July, that is still early.

    Your breath is warm on my shoulder. For a moment I watch you. Your eyes move behind their lids and in the pale light you are at once familiar and new and there is a luminous and fragile beauty to your face in the light before dawn.

    You stir and turn. I watch for your heartbeat and think of holding my hand there to feel it but that would be the start of another story so I smile and slip out of bed.

    Out of bed and down the stairs carrying a sweatshirt and a pair of shorts. Out of bed and down the stairs to the kitchen and grab an old tin mug. Mug in hand and barefoot I ease the door shut behind me. Bare feet cold in the dew soaked grass. I look back and see my trail of darker footprints in the silver, dew spangled grass.

    Out through the break in the stone wall and along the path to the rougher meadow grass, juniper and bay and the patches of blueberries among the lichen crusted field stone. Down along the path hearing the toll of the mid-channel marker, clanging the change of the tide. Down along the path while the island sleeps.

    I stoop low and move slow, hold the mug under the branches as my fingers tease the berries. The soft plink and plonk and plunk of berries filling the cup. Shifting my shoulder to brush a way a mosquito. Stepping carefully in the spaces between the bushes. Prowling for the clusters of fat berries.

    When the cup is full, I lean back and stretch, ease the kinks out of my back, wriggle fingers to get back some feeling, walk back up to the house, cup held carefully remembering the time I was 5 and 6 and 7 and probably more when I tripped and spent the next hour picking up scattered berries.

    In the kitchen I fill the kettle for coffee water, get out the bowls and set up to make pancakes.

    One bowl for dry: white flour, nutty wheat flour, buckwheat four, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk powder, powdered milk.

    One bowl for wet: egg yolks and water.

    One bowl to beat the egg whites frothy and high.

    Wet and dry together, but only just, fold in the egg whites and blueberries.

    Get the griddle smoking hot.

    Maple syrup, butter and yogurt on the table.

    Call up the stairs, Pancakes are ready.

    Blueberry pancakes, a morning affair.
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