I cup my warm mug of coffee between both hands as I walk back to my office. Is there anything better than that first sip of coffee in the morning? I brew a mixture of half vanilla-flavored coffee and half plain coffee, keeping both myself and my husband happy. (Guess who likes the flavored coffee?) That first sip tastes so good, especially when followed up with a bit of cranberry orange scone. I use the coffee pot’s timer so when I get up the house smells like coffee and it’s ready for me to pour.
The sky over the trees gradually lightens, flushing pale pink to salmon. I look around my office at the many things I love: books, art supplies, pictures, little knick knacks. The birds begin to wake up, chattering and chirping in the trees. A pair of cardinals takes turns at the bird feeder.
Everyone else is still asleep—even the dog. I sit in my rocking chair—the one I’ve had since my son was an infant. How many hours did we spend here together, while I fed him, read or sang to him as he lay cradled in my arms or sleeping on my shoulder? He’s 18 and more than six feet tall now.
It feels like I’m all alone in the world. I watch the Spanish moss sway in the slightest of breezes. I pick up the notebook I use for morning pages, the cardboard cover smooth beneath my fingers. I like to use composition books for morning pages. They’re a nice, portable size and sturdy enough to be used for months at a time. And they now come in many pretty designs—I usually stock up at the beginning of the school year when there’s more to choose from. Some mornings words flow unstoppable from my pen as I perform a sort of brain dump onto the page, lightening myself for the day ahead, working through my plans, clearing out emotional fogs, aches and pains, happinesses. After I fill my three pages, my hand and arm ache pleasantly and I know that at least for today I’ve written something, even if no one else ever sees it. (My husband says when I die he’s going to read all my notebooks and journals. I say go right ahead—I won’t care at that point!)
I used to be a night person, loving to stay up past when others went to sleep. Now I’m too tired by nightfall, and I’d have a hard time staying up past when my son goes to bed (I think he’s nocturnal). I still love the beautiful, quiet hours near . They still feel magical if I ever manage to stay awake that long. Perhaps I’ll gravitate back towards being a night person again when I no longer need to get up so early in the morning.
Both late night and early morning share something in common: solitude. I have a great need for solitude and quiet which I struggle hard to meet. My husband works at home and is always around. We still have our son at home. I’m lucky to get an hour or two alone in my home each week. I try to make up for that by getting up before everyone else in the morning.
Pretty soon, alarm clocks will go off, the dog will need to be walked, my day’s work will start. But for right now, I’m enjoying my coffee and the morning quiet.
What’s your favorite time of day?