Mornings Are My Sanctuary

Early mornings are my sanctuary. They have been for years now. All year round they are special, each season has its gifts, and nearly always I am wedded to my morning routine. I’ll get to that later.

The soft quiet of winter, the joy of waking up to to the exquisite silence of early morning snowfall. Other winter mornings when I wake up all the world outside is magically sheathed in ice, the smallest of branches glistening as if sheathed in diamonds.

Spring, of course, brings back leaves and the mid-air-jewel-sounds of birds singing. The green of hope and new life emerges everywhere and I get the distinct impression my body, heart and spirit relaxes and they all work better. It’s as if the possibility of loss has passed with the passing of winter. I don’t know why it feels that way to me. It just does.

Summer can give and take energy like no other season. Sometimes the early mornings are warm in a glorious way, the trees and hills outside my window are alive with expectancy, and, like a little boy, I can’t wait to burst out the front door, screaming my own barbaric YAWP (thank you, Walt Whitman) and plunge into the day with all I’ve got. Then, of course, there are other morning so fierce with humidity and heat I swear someone left a giant oven door open.

Fall is tied with Spring as my favorite season for early mornings. Steinbeck once described one aspect of a crisp clear fall day like this: The air looked cleaned and polished. And when the trees here in the northeastern United States are peaking with color the beauty and majesty of it so overwhelming at times it makes me cry with the kind of joy and comfort one feels when in the arms of a loved one.

My morning routine, or, perhaps better put, my morning ritual, runs something like this. Out of bed, letting the dogs out for some, we’ll call it relief. Water on for coffee. Dogs back in for breakfast. Water boils, coffee gets made (I pour the water through fresh ground coffee in a melita). Dogs go out to their pen. Back inside coffee’s ready and waiting. Now I either sit down at the computer and check e-mail, read a bit of the NY Times online (a paper that has sadly lost quite a bit of it journalistic integrity) and then do a bit of writing. The only alteration in this ritual is if I am in the middle of a really good never-want-to-put-it-down book. Then the first sip of morning is taken as I open the book and resume reading. Oh! I will, in warm weather, make toast or an English muffin with the coffee and in the cold weather, oatmeal with real maple syrup.

Early morning brings me another gift as well. Time with my family. Yes, they have nearly all died. But in the early morning I can feel my father with me, and both my mothers. I can feel the presence of my grandparents: Mommom and Poppop and Grandma and Grandpa, my brother, Bobby. And I also can feel the reach of my birth-father, the one I never met, but who helped give me my life.

I love the wealth of peace found in early mornings. I hope you have moments like this in your life too. We all deserve them – and that includes you.