Slobodan Porobic fishes for stripers off Portland's East End at sunrise on Thursday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau wrote that in his journal on April 20, 1850. I think I know what he was talking about.

I was up and out the door before it was light today. Snagging coffee at the all night convenience on Congress Street, I made for the East End. The sky was just starting to glow off toward Chebeaugue Island when I got there.

Stepping out of my truck, I met an almost chilly breeze. I zipped my jacket, breathed deep and strode off down the hill with a camera dangling from each shoulder.

Nothing feels better than the familiar weight of those cameras on a cool, clear morning. I never tire of making pictures. It’s when I feel most alive and in touch with my world — like I’m really seeing it. Looking for pictures — hunting for the meaning and stories behind the shapes, colors and faces of this city — never gets old.

How could a morning walk like this be anything but a blessing?

This is how I’ve made my living for two decades now. I’m a lucky so-and-so, and don’t I know it.

A man runs along the Eastern Prom trail in Portland on Thursday at sunrise. Nearby, a gull lands on a rock surrounded by the sea, and the day’s first rays hit a spray painted flag.
Gulls line up on a rocky strip as the sun gets ready to rise over Casco Bay on Thursday.
Two dogs play on Portland’s Eastern Prom on Thursday morning at sunrise while Queen Anne’s lace blooms and a bird perches on a granite post.
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Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.