I’m at the age where waking early is the norm. Not just early, but sometimes, really early. Before 5:00am some days. Having two dogs who wake at first light, or sometimes when they sense one of their humans is stirring, only accentuates the habit.
That moment of first consciousness in the morning is hard to define and thinking about it too deeply can really make you marvel at how the brain works.
One minute, you are sleeping, unaware of your surroundings. The next, you are suddenly conscious of your body, how you feel, the sounds and the light seeping through the blinds. In my house, the the two dogs start pacing near the door to the patio. They want to go outside.
I glance at my iphone (no need for a bedside clock in this era) and notice it’s 4:45. Even earlier than usual. I let them out. Soon they will want to be fed so I step into my slippers, grab my robe and head to the kitchen.
I love my kitchen and I love my view. We moved into our empty nester home a few years ago and one of the main the selling points was the row of windows peering out on a large lake. So as I feed the dogs and start the Nespresso, I watch the sky lighten and the geese swimming on the lake. A lone Heron often stands on the shoreline near our yard.
Today is a very warm day but it’s early and still bearable outside. I take my coffee and yogurt (always with berries and mueslix) to the table on our deck and enjoy my breakfast al fresco.
Being an avid reader, I also grab my ipad and open it to read the local newspaper. Covid updates. Another shooting. More politics. Local sports. The advice column is my favorite part of the paper and I save it for last.
Next, I would normally read the Chicago Tribune or the Wall Street Journal, but I decide to enjoy the morning solitude instead. My mind and soul need a rest from constant news.
It’s not yet 6:00am and the sun still hasn’t burned off the morning fog. I decide to walk my dog Louie before it gets too hot. It’s 6:15 by the time we hit the trail.
We see a lot of neighbors who seem to have the the same idea and head out early on their walk or jog to beat the heat. Smart move as today’s forecast is a high of 93 degrees.
We walk a few miles and make it home right as the sun breaks through and the temperatures start on their upward trajectory. In an hour, several friends will come over and I’ll lead them in a barre/yoga class on my patio. By the time we finish, it’s barely 9:00 and we’ve basically completed a hot yoga class. It’s a good start to the day.
Some days beg for a break from the normal routine and instead nudge us to quiet our minds. It’s been a long, stressful year and we are just coming out of a quarantine.
Covid and political unrest and lots of uncertainty has taken a toll on everyone. Sometimes we don’t even realize what that toll is until we take the time to pause and reflect.
For me, I’ve become super tuned in to the news, specifically on the political front. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be exhausting and it can lead to cynicism and worry.
I need to remind myself to let go of worry, to have faith in mankind and the world and to allow myself to just be sometimes. Today was one of those days. I hope there will be many more.
Here’s to “just being”.