Photograph by Ramona Siddoway
Mornings are not always my friend. At least, not when I first wake up. I can’t say with any accuracy that I’ve been much different for most of my life. That first time I open my eyes, the brief moment of disorientation – not entirely unpleasant, but a moment between the “then” of the night with its dreams and own experiences and the “now” that is about to happen. My dreams are rarely unpleasant or frightening, but I always wake up feeling like I’ve really had a workout. Maybe its my psyche working out all the details of the day before, maybe its my imagination and creativity finally getting a free reign without the internal and external editors that they are constantly butting up against in my waking life, or maybe its my subconscious gently but firmly reminding me of who I’m really supposed to be.
I remember talking to a friend about an upcoming camping trip we were all planning on. I had never personally camped in this particular area we were going to and was asking my friend for some details. He said that mornings are a bit chilly but once you get moving you get warmed up and things are good again. He talked about how he’s a little stiff when he first gets up in the tent, but he just moves forward, starts making the fire, and soon the cold and stiffness are gone.
I still remember the visual in my head of this Wyoming cowboy, crouching over the first struggling fire of the day, waiting for the stiffness in his fingers and the cold in his bones to dissipate. I like that image.
When I first wake up there’s often this mental, emotional, and psychological stiffness – a stiffness of the soul if you will. But once I’ve gotten up, gotten moving and on with my day that stiffness dissipates pretty quickly and I’m good for another twenty-four.
With this new, upcoming season in my life the mornings center around that echo in my heart; the one that reminds me that soon there will no longer be extra bodies in the beds above me (unless, of course, I put them there. Mwahahahaha!!! Ahem. Excuse me. I digress. Back to our regularly scheduled achefest . . . )
Soon there will no longer be breakfast mess waiting for me to clean. (It will now only be dinner mess that I refused to clean the night before.) Nor will I be flying to my cell phone to text the offending miscreant who didn’t do something they should have. Instead the only thing waiting for me in the kitchen will be the mouth-breathing, snarky, Angolan cat who will give me my 30 seconds of allotted affection for the day. Or Jack, our Frankenpuppy (an aging dog who, because of strange parentage, has an abnormally small head for his large body) who will eventually slink down the stairs after sleeping on a forbidden bed.
It’s in that quiet that often frightens me. I can’t exactly say why. It’s the quiet that seems to shout echoes of the past and threats of uncertain futures.
I realize I have to move forward each day with the faith that the stiffness won’t really stay but a minute. I have to remind myself that the emotional and psychological and spiritual manna will always be waiting for me as long as I have the courage to just get up and harvest it.
So once I’m up I usually make my way to our patio. I read some scriptures and meditate as the birds are waking up and just as the Texas sun makes its way over the fence. I need to remember to take a deep breath and not let fear from allowing me to BE in the quiet, in those moments just after the “me” of the night gives way and melds with the “me” of the day.
In the end it’s all good – the night, the morning, and the quiet in between.