Charlie's walk, the final ritual that I've done every morning for the last 10 months. The streets are bit different at 4 a.m. A man I recognize as a homeless Big Issue seller from St. Giles bicycles past on the Woodstock Road, followed 20 yards behind by his dog, trotting to keep up. Perhaps they do this every morning.
Charlie and I walk around the basketball courts near the radio station, go past the playground then turn at the grass tennis courts to make our daily loop. A top window is open in the old folks' home, as it always is. I've heard that the lady inside throws meat to the foxes. I've never seen anyone at the window and I don't this morning.
Behind the tennis courts and behind the back gardens of Osberton Road. The bell in the chapel tower of St. Edwards School chimes 4:30. Charlie and I turn east through the tennis court parking lot. And there, over the chimney pots of North Oxford, is something I haven't seen in my 10 months here: a sunrise. Partly-cloudy ones are the best, the sun painting the grayish clouds in hues of bright pink and tangerine.
I've forgotten my camera this morning, so I can't take a picture. But you can't capture a sunrise in a photograph. You can't capture a city in a blog, either. Thanks for watching me try. The next sunrise I see will be in Washington. I promise to blog there, too, and I hope you'll join me.