Mornings on my Balcony {Writings from Elsewhere}

I wrote this piece a while ago for someone else, but I'm sharing here now. I was hoping to share France trip stuff today, but I just need more time to process and write about it all! In the meantime... 

Some days I teach, and when I get back from dropping Gwen off at school, it’s already time to get in the car and head to the women’s collective and my yoga students. The days I don’t have people waiting on me, there is always a to-do list a mile long. For everything I check off, there are always two more things to add. Cleaning always gets pushed down the list, but I think our carpet looks more loved with its fine layer of cut up construction paper used for crafts, Lego creations of my daughter’s design, a smattering of figurines set up in some kind of adventure scene, and normally some treasures – be it a handful of leaves or some sparkly rocks – brought in from our last walk.

I know that I should jump into it. There is grocery shopping to do and meals to plan, business items to address, and always some upcoming activity that needs arrangement. But as I walk back into our morning lit apartment, my gaze is drawn to my chair on the balcony. I can’t resist it! So often what I end up doing instead is making a cup of hot tea, grabbing a book or magazine, and heading out to breathe it all in with Daisy the pup.

A night owl by nature, I’ve slowly learned to appreciate the unique calm and quiet that the morning brings. At night time there is the satisfaction of knowing that my family is safe and secure in their beds, that we are together; it is a time when I get things done. In the morning though, there is the distinctive rest that comes with having your responsibility to others temporarily lifted away. With the knowledge that my husband is at work and my daughter at school, both happy and thriving, I can release and my mind can rest.

I’ll crack my book and settle in to read, one of my greatest pleasures. After a chapter or two though, I normally nestle my bookmark back in place, and set my book aside. The cool breeze playing on the pine tree just beyond arms reach, the squirrels chittering and jumping around – coming for my flower and plant pots no doubt, the soft sound of water spraying as someone attends to their garden, the sun waking up and warming the sky; it’s a symphony of sights and sounds impossible to ignore.

As it gets colder and the snow comes, I’m sure I’ll find my time in the chair on the balcony dwindling. I’ll find other ways to rest my mind – reading on the couch curled up with Daisy sounds like a great start – but I’m loath to give up mornings on the balcony.

When it warms up enough for the wasps and bees to start buzzing around, then I know it’s time to head inside and really start my day. Daisy sounds the alarm with a certain tilt of her head and the sound of snuffing and snapping as she plays with these funny flying creatures. There is a day full of quiet adventure awaiting, and thanks to taking the time to sit in the cool air and morning silence, I’m ready for it.

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