The mountains are clear this morning. Dawn is just beginning to break. I’ve just had my morning cappuccino and my neighbors here in Aviano, Italy, aren’t even awake yet. The only sounds are the crowing of the morning roosters and the cooing of a morning dove from the tall tree next door. I’m going to miss the roosters when we leave here someday. I never imagined that I would be living in Italy, and the roosters create such a distinctive sound from here; That and the church bells pealing all throughout the day. I haven’t heard them this morning though. I woke up at 4am with a bad dream. I don’t even remember what it was, but I woke up crying. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I’ve been up for awhile. I can hear Marvin in the shower, getting ready for work. The girls are still asleep…ahhh..there go the church bells. The long, haunting “Bong, Bong, Bong,” which takes a little push to really get going, and then they are crazy bells, with the “Bong, bongety, bong, bong, bong, bong, bing, ditty bing, ding, dong, ding dong”….and on and on. I love it. The roosters in the background as accompaniment, and the morning dove with the “coo-coo, coo…coo-coo, coo.” Short-short, pause, short….like some kind of bird Morse Code. The bells are finished now, and the roosters have given up their crowing, figuring most are awake now…but that morning dove is always on the job. I’m hearing car doors now, and a distant motorbike. Others are awake. It won’t be long before my solitude is interrupted. Marvin will want some breakfast, and the little ones will want cartoons, pancakes, hot chocolate, or quite possibly warm muffins, fresh from the oven. My morning prayer for today: May I make the childhood of my daughters as special as my own! I’d better go make those muffins.