Every morning, I remain awake after Joe wakes up to use the washroom at 5 AM, and I watch the trees outside of our window. I listen to the water running in the creek at the bottom of the hill. I feel the house creak and breathe a bit, and I am awake while all of those that I love best sleep unaware.
I always feel like I’m praying in those moments, like some part of my marrow is singing a quiet hymn that belongs in a country church. Thanksgiving, another old church word, breathes in and out with the leaves turning in the rain drops falling, kelly green side up, dull green underside up, back and forth, waving and dancing, good morning, good morning, good morning. Today, I carefully dressed in the early light. Brian sprawled, tinies breathing in their bed, and I crept down the stairs, silently freezing in terror every time the steps creaked.
I drove to the coffee shop, through the rain, and they were playing “No Diggity, No Doubt” or whatever that song is really called. I used to listen to it when I was in high school. I dated a boy for 3 years that was a hip-hop/rap artist, and I mark my high school years by Lauryn Hill, for some reason it always makes people laugh to realise that I know all the words to Gangster’s Paradise. So I chuckled when I heard that song, I remembered driving down Deerfoot Trail in Calgary in my dad’s car, speeding towards curfew, holding hands over the console, listening to someone rap and sing that entire song out loud as practice for a someday-stage, and it made me feel very tender towards those weird high school years, very tender towards my old self, all of our old selves. I still knew all of the words.
I have my coffee now, and the shop is quiet. If it wasn’t pouring rain, I’d likely be out for a solitary ramble. I like to walk in the mornings, by myself. Sometimes I listen to CBC Radio 1 and go for a drive, because I get very attached to my morning news shows and I like to drive alone. I will be one of thse old ladies, knitting by the radio, listening to “my stories” and talking about Stuart McLean like he’s my neighbour.
Everything seems more possible in the morning. People seem more beautiful to me, memories lose their sting, yesterday’s passions find their rightful place, the words flow a bit more easily, I don’t feel so confused and worn out and tired. I feel awake and alive, thrumming with life and hope and, yes, art. The night hours are for poetry, for books, for conversation and quiet and friends, for love making, and for cleaning up the supper dishes. The day time hours are the work hours, the wipe-up-the-floor-for-the-thousandth-time hours, the diapers and laundry and nursing and working and cleaning and cooking and feeding and schooling, and the laughter hours. Those are the hours of a childhood happening, right before my eyes, of butterfly watching and scraped foreheads and babies toddling in the back of the church because they won’t sit still for two minutes together.
So these morning hours always feel like my own hours, whether I’m lying in bed, wide awake, watching the trees, or whether I’m sitting at a coffee shop table on a holiday Monday, alone, watching the rain fall and listening to old songs from the 90s. The Cranberries just started to sing.
In the night hours, when the tinies have gone to sleep, I want to write poetry or read books. But in the mornings, I want to write about the gloriousness of the mundane life, the wonder of all of us walking each other home for another day, the holiness of how we all save each other, every day, we are sacred in our daily rhythms, this is the life we’re living and it’s right now, and so put the coffee on, there is grace for all of us, there is something holy in just waking up to start all over again, new.