Small droplets of dew cling to well manicured blades of grass. The birds that have yet to be bothered by the slightly chilly dawn breeze puff up their chests and call out in song. Orange and yellow ribbons of sunlight peak around the glass and concrete corners, ready to kiss the day.
Riding the soft breeze is a plethora of scents. The yeasty siren call of a bagel shop, the acerbic and bitter allure of brewing coffee, the sweet carnival-like draw of freshly made waffles, a red-lit call to action from newly-glazed donuts, the metallic tang of car exhaust, the chalky pull of construction work. It all blends, much like the denizens of this urban jungle, making a whole better than the sum of its parts. It is an identity, an aromatic summons to both the now and the then.
The shadows are rotating, bending against the incoming bath of UV, dancing between the tall structures, trying to find homes in the nooks and crannies that the Sun just can't seem to reach, no matter the time of day. One of the persnickety beams of lights falls on a small Kudzu bug, having falling from a immaculately trimmed magnolia, lying on its back on the concrete. It tries to unfold a wing, hoping to tip itself over and get on with its leaf-chomping life.
A car buzzes by. Horns honk. Brakes squeal. A construction site's morning bell goes off. A bike whirrs by. A scooter put-puts its way through a traffic light. A group of commuters exit a bus. One of them nearly tramples the Kudzu bug. They talk animatedly about their weekend. Someone mentions the Falcons.
The Kudzu bug reaches out, trying to grab at the dog now snuffling at it. The dog's owner barks a command. The dog obeys. An opportunity is missed and the bug is back to flailing its wings, rocking back and forth, its tiny segmented legs waving in the warming breeze.
Two men greet outside the bagel shop. One shouts "Rise up!" and the other returns in kind. A child walks by a parked car with Falcons flags flying from its windows. He laughs and points it out to his parent who nods and then goes back to staring into her phone.
A car radio is blasting Randy Cross' Morning show. He's going on and on about how awesome Julio Jones is. "Damn straight," replies the car's driver.
Clomp, clomp, clomp. Doom is approaching the Kudzu bug. A nice pair of boat shoes, brand indeterminable, barrel down on the poor creature. It sees another opportunity. The shoe makes contact. The bug's legs work frantically. As the shoe once again leaves the cold concrete surface of the sidewalk, the Kudzu bug has taken a ride. Another moment and he's off, flying higher and higher, looking for that delicious green. Its courage, its fight, its determination has paid off. It is free from peril and soaring high.
Dawn wanes. The day is starting. The sun is beginning to warm up the city of Atlanta.
Like the city on a cool fall Monday morning, the Sun is kissing the day of a new era for our Atlanta Falcons. This team has reshaped itself in just a few months. It has fought tooth and nail for wins for the past three weeks and, lo and behold, here they sit at three and oh. They have faced adversity and mounting odds every week and for three solid weeks, they have rebuffed that adversity and risen above it. They are finally living up to the animal by which they were named in 1966, an animal that stands for Courage and Fight: the Falcon.
Yesterday was the third Victory Monday is as many weeks. Let that sink in a moment. Three straight victories to start off the season. When have we last seen that? 2012! That was a great year. But the Sun is just beginning to rise on this new era of Falcons football. Let us hope the rest of the day is as beautiful as its beginning.