Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Morning Ritual

Good morning! It's Monday. I'm starting a new spring ritual.

Arise before dawn to the sound of the birds waking up outside my bedroom window (window always cracked open no matter the temperature outdoors) and listen gratefully to the world awakening around me. Spend a few moments in quiet solitude ...... until Sharmayne (my active black kitten) realizes I am awake and begins to pounce on my face and hands.

Kitty hugs are the best! Shy Cybil waits at the bedroom door hoping I will be up soon. She waits every morning for our mutual bathroom visit. They say girls always go to the bathroom in pairs? They're right.

Next, stretch, stretch, stretch while still in bed. Have you tried this? It makes a world of difference to how you will feel when your feet hit the floor. The first to teach me this was my wonderful massage therapist in Milwaukee (thank you, Leanne). She told me that as I lie on my back in bed, pull each leg back by the knee, one by one, and hold (gently, of course) my leg bent back as far as is comfortable for a few seconds. This not only limbers your leg muscles but helps loosen the hip joint, making it easier to walk. Are you thinking of how stiff your hips can feel in the morning? Try this. Really. It works.

With the necessities taken care of, I pull on yesterday's jeans, t-shirt and denim jacket and set out for my pre-dawn walk. This is always an interesting experience. Who is up at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m.? Which lights are on, how many TVs are already placating wee ones with inane cartoons of princesses waiting for their princes, who do you meet on the sidewalk as you stroll the neighborhood? This morning I met a man who was taking a walk while carrying his dog. Go figure. Now that's devotion.

Back at home the electric kettle awaits fresh water for coffee. Rock that French press with some strong, freshly ground beans and a world class fusion is about to take place. Cybil and Sharmayne wait impatiently for their breakfast of canned paté (are they spoiled?).

Next up, carry your laptop and java to the front porch. Now, I have to tell you that I have never had such a wonderful front porch as this. All brick, mortar and concrete, and LARGE! Even back at the ranch where the view from the porch was terrific, the porch itself was so narrow that a conversation pit was impossible to improvise. Nothing like a 1912 porch. They really knew how to do some front porch sittin' back then.

Although my spring porch altar is only partially set up, I light my incense and relax into the utter gratefulness of this moment. The cardinals chasing each other through the trees, the sparrows flying past me through the porch on their way to morning seeds, even the cars going by ferrying 8:00 a.m. workers and school children is a testament to the world coming alive.

This is life as it should be: busy, hopeful, restful, grateful.


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