No, I didn’t paint this… but maybe I should.
Today I am thinking of Best Mornings…
I am in a mountain vale in Switzerland. The evening before we snowshoed up the mountain, had dinner in a village near the top, then took a 45 minute sled ride back to the bottom. The sky was clear and packed with stars, buffeted by the glowing slopes of night-blue snow. It was an exhilarating evening, but nothing really compared to the dawn.
I woke to the end of the stars. From my bed, I watched the sun come creeping around the side of the mountain. Not over the top, but around the side. I leaned over and cracked open the window to catch some fresh air. It was so silent and calm that I heard the sound of water splashing down the ice fall on the other side of the valley.
I stayed in bed for some time just watching this morning begin. Soon, there was the sound of movement in the house and some time after that I could hear coffee brewing (and then I could smell it).
We are at the beach in South Carolina. The breeze is mild as we pop out from the trees, and as we come out of the dunes we see the sun has already slipped up out of the ocean.
The water is warm. The children are quiet as they take in the sunrise. We stand in place for a moment and let our feet sink into the sand.
There are people walking along the shore. We join them, walking along in that silent shuffle one does when looking for shells between the ebb of muffled waves.
This spell of silence breaks when the sun reaches a certain point in the sky. A dog barks and then people are talking everywhere. We walk back to the place we left our shoes and then slip back through the trees towards breakfast.
I’m having a bagel in Chicago. The shop is a corner place. I couldn’t tell you the name or even where it is now, but I remember the bagel. I remember the bagel and the crush of sleepy-eyed people. I remember the warmth of the shop and the sense of the city all around.
I remember the smell of newsprint and I distinctly remember telling myself I would not forget the name of this shop.
The plane leaves the runway. I’m crushed in the seat and I’m smiling. Behind us, Helios in his golden chariot gives chase but not even the sunrise can catch us as the plane goes up, up into the clouds and we cross time-zones going back into the hours that have passed, traveling almost through to the moment before I woke up.
I am in first class and I have five hours to do nothing but read.
It’s dark and I am running. I like to pretend that coyotes are following me in the woods. I know that they are not, but this is how my mind works when I’m running. I go down, down, down to the river.
There is no one other than me running in the dark. The sky turns purple then pink and then orange. I am miles away now, taking on a big hill. As I come to the top, the sun hits me full across my sweat-soaked face and shirt. My heart bursts with joy and exertion.
I still have a long way to go.
We hear the children giggling in the other room. They’re trying to stay quiet but it’s hard. Without moving, we can look up and see through the blinds that the morning is beautiful. We can smell it in the air coming through the open window.
We stretch, and then we pull up the covers and press our bodies together.
I am in front of the cafe, waiting on the dawn. I know that this is the right table to catch the sun at this time of year. It will rise in 3… 2… 1.
What are your Best Mornings?