Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Morning

The day stretched before me like a long shadow when I stepped outside around 6:30 this morning.

My feet were shod in a pair of Crocs, while my robe kept the rest of me, except my shins, fairly warm in spite of the early time. My hair fairly stood on end, I'm sure.

A brief rain last night had washed the dust from the leaves and grass, leaving everything pristine. It was a rain like a heavy dew, enough to do a bit of good without damaging the hay which lay in the fields awaiting attention.

My roses were damp and water droplets caught the rising sun as rays slithered through the tree limbs. The dappled effect of light and shade upon the delicate red petals brought a smile to my sleepy eyes.

Off in the distance, that crusty old tom turkey let out an echoing gobble. I craned my neck but could not see him; he must have been strutting his stuff on the over side of the ridge.

The rata-tat of a woodpecker next perked up my ears. I could not spy him, either, but his reverberation of the woods certainly let me know he was there.

Listening, I heard the caw of a murder of crows, far away, and the blaring honk of a Canadian goose from the neighbor's pond caused me to tilt my head hoping to hear more.

As I watched, a titmouse raced from spruce to spruce, its tiny body apparently pouncing on a branch long enough to make it bounce before it took flight again.

By the fence a squirrel stopped and peered back at me with tiny black eyes as if to say, "What's she doing here?" before skittering up a tree.

In a few weeks, I will be 45 years old. When I was 14, I couldn't even imagine what 45 felt like. At 14, you are going to live forever.

At 45, I know my time is limited. I am only 11 years younger than my mother when she died. I wonder, what would she have done differently had she known at 45 that she would be gone at 56?

I thought about that while I stood listening to the world, being in the moment, taking in the clear, crisp air. The world will go on without me, I mused. It is I who will have stopped, whether that's today, 11 years from now, or in another 45 years.

There are millions of things left to do. Places to go - Egypt, for one, and Scotland, for another - and things to learn. I want to know everything about everything, for I am curious like those deer, the ones that peer in my windows sometimes. I want to understand astronomy and astrology, and go on an archaeological dig and discover something fantastic, like a clay pot made by some new civilization.

Philosophy should be my second nature, and I would like to be able to hold intelligent conversation with anyone in the world, and not look like an idiot while we speak.

I wish to read every book, and hear and laugh at every joke. I want to understand why some people are mean and others are so nice they make you cry just to look at them.

And I want to write books and stories and poems, to leave a mark on this world before I go. So that maybe one day I will be remembered as having lived.

There is not enough time in any lifetime, no matter how long, to do all that I would like to do, to know, to feel. Already I have missed out on the experience of giving birth, of holding my own child and feeling the curl of little fists around my finger as someone once inside me holds me tightly.

A million things to be doing, but not for a one would I have traded such a morning. For this morning, too, was an experience of a lifetime.

As the sun rose on this gorgeous day, I watched the progression of sunbeams as they went from low in the trees to the tree tops. In a few minutes, brilliant light broke the shadows cast by those trees and spread sunshine all around. The vivid blue sky looked like a caress, and I thought the birds were calling and singing especially for me.

It's a new day, they chirped. Go on now, go on and live. Go on, child, and just be.


  1. Beautiful! You painted such a vivid picture, and to someone who usually wakes to the groan of a city bus going by, it was quite refreshing.

    (Although we do have a early rising woodpecker nearby as well.)

  2. So honestly expressed I don't think I have words to say how your post affected me. I can say that you touched my soul with your words. You write beautifully.

  3. What a lovely essay. Thanks for the reminder to live in and appreciate the present moment.

  4. That is so beautiful! Sounds like you have a "bucket" list of your own. Shan


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