12.17.14 The routine is comfortably the same this time of year. I’m up by 6 a.m. and step out the pantry door while my coffee drips into the cup. The kitties always greet me for a neck scratch and then we walk out from under the porch roof to look up for stars. The Big Dipper is just over the roof to the north, and the Long Night Moon is still a bright waning crescent in the East. I know that Jupiter would be visible if the hillside wasn’t in the way, and I know there is a meteor shower right now, but it’s cold, and as soon as I hear the final click of the espresso machine, I go back inside.
Then, it’s to my laptop, on the table in the breakfast nook, where the terrace Christmas tree has turned on by its timer out the window. Most of my adult life, I would have been out the door for a run by now, rushing back for children and work. Now, I often consider how much time I “waste” in the dark winter mornings, here in the north woods, waiting for it to be light enough to go out for a run somewhere nearby, and truly begin my day. I could be doing laundry and housecleaning, at the very least, still in my jammies, in this early morning darkness.
I have an older friend in my Women’s Creative Group who says she likes to read in the early morning dark, and finds it helps her “cross over from sleep to being awake.” I’ve thought about her comment, and how it can be a very deliberate action to make that cross-over each day. The New York Times comes up as my home page, and I know I need that coffee-under-the-stars moment to prepare for the headlines. Usually, it’s the first place I read. But, not in the Winter. Instead, I check to see if there are emails from loved ones or Facebook posts that came in after I went to bed. Then, I read the poem for the day on several different poetry sites. And, I have a half-dozen photography blogs, with tags lines like, “a place for things which make my heart beat faster”, and stunningly beautiful photos of the season, from all over the world, pop up on my screen. Next, there’s a young woman in New York, who is dying from cancer, and I check in at her blog to see how she is doing. There’s a woman in Portland, who adopted a baby girl awhile back, and her photographs and words always shine dazzling light into the darkness. And, there’s an older lady in Connecticut, who lives alone in a cottage with her dog and cat, and I find that her independence somehow inspires me.
Before I know it, a few hours have flown by, and I can see blue light out my window. I know it’s time to get on with my day. On the best mornings, I feel like it was a good cross-over.