Not long ago, over the phone my mother lamented with a laugh that the tree that split in a recent batch of storms had changed the way the light shines on her face through the window at sunrise. Half the leaves that once rose tall now touch the grass, and she knows that they’ll never get around to cutting the tree down.
Where I sleep it’s never really dark and I’m always hearing something, so the morning is never a surprise. There’s always a part of me awake. Where she is, the morning light is red through leaves that burst against the sky’s pure blue, and the yellow of the trees on the way into town matches the stripe down the center of the road.
When she told me all this I knew that the next time I was home she’d suggest I lie down on her spot on the bed to observe the red shadows of the tree at dawn.