Solstice dawn, on the other hand, arrives far earlier than seems decent, when even blackbirds sleep on, uncaring about fat worms in the grass.
First sign is a touch of grey in the darkness, transforming to a weight of dew so urgent that wild garlic stems fall flat against the earth as though pressing their ears to its deep, subterranean murmurings.
Next a glimmer of light that ignites the glistening backs of frogs barely visible by their eyes beading the water of ponds whether their spawn hatched, swam, sprang.
A breath of morning breeze stirs the pale scattering of pigeon feathers – the only evidence of the fox cubs’ first copper-rich taste of self-caught blood.
And the webs the spiders have strung in anticipation to trap each gilded corner of the new day’s sky.
This is the summer solstice dawn – but who is awake to see it? What is it to us but a damp finger tapping the date on a page of an already overstuffed diary, the thumb stroking its cracked spine?