It is early here. Though not as early as it was. And not as nearly as cold and quiet as my time last week in Yosemite was. No one else is awake in my house, though I hear N's alarm which lets me know that my precious moments of alone time are coming to a close.
This morning, my alarm was set for 5am, but my eyes flew open at 4am. It was the fourth day in a row I have awoken that early, on my own. My goal lately HAS been to get up around 5am: to make coffee, have time for myself, mull over my list of things to complete. I also have been wanting to try & sort through my writing and art project ideas before the second round of coffee. Get it ALL done before N & the boys get up and ready for day/school/work. But 4am? It seems a smidgen too early that makes me tired at the end of the day. But maybe, what has awoken me so early lately is I miss this, the quiet and the cold, the still & silent beauty of the mountains. Maybe.
Because it was again, earlier than I intended, I did not jump right out of bed; instead I lay squished in the sheets and blankets, wondering if I could doze until 5am (or maybe even 6am). When I realized that sleep wasn't going to happen, I pushed myself up, and ever so silently slipped out of the covers. I paused for a moment wishing I could go back to the warmth of sleep. However, once I am up, I am awake.
Whether I get up at 4am or 5am or 7am, my routine is generally the same. I grind the coffee, put water into the kettle and onto the stove. Then comes one of the best parts of the morning, no matter how tired or awake I am. It is the measuring of the sweet smelling grinds into our press. The sound of the sprinkling spoonfuls of coffee pattering against the glass of our French press wakes me up almost as much as the first sip of coffee. N & I are very much into the alchemy of our coffee. We are a bit snobby about it, almost to a fault...almost.
Another part of the morning is the animals.
We don't live on a farm...unless you would call it a very, very urban farm for wayward animals: a collection of boys, dogs, cats and, of course a fish that G&B won at a county fair. Though I may not be milking cows, our animals are even more devoted to the morning routine than I could ever hope to be. At our house, whomever is the first adult up, the pups and kitty will follow around begging to be fed. They know that once coffee is being ground, food for them is almost imminent.
Most days, and much to our doggies chagrin, I feed our girl cat first. She is a bit quirky and enjoys being petted while she eats; sometimes there are mornings where she will wait to eat until someone starts to pet her. She definitely counts in the wayward and quirky urban animal column. After I give her some love, I turn my attention to the pups. Just the simple act of getting out their bowls sends them into a tail wagging frenzy. Often there is a whiney squeak of excitement and an occasional rapid thud as Bella's tail whacks the stove with anticipation. I do try to make them sit while I dump their food into their bowls; but the bowls are heading to the floor, they barely give me the time to give them the command to "eat!" before they gobble their food up as if they hadn't been fed in days. Oh those dogs! They delight in their food almost as much as they delight in their boys.
Now here I sit, sipping hot loveliness, with dogs snoring on the floor and a cat who has retreated back to the warm bed. Here I sit and I am left staring at this very the screen waiting for the earth to move more towards the sun. Waiting for words or thoughts or images to move me, waiting for N to wake up and the boys to grumble out of bed. Waiting. Not getting much done at all. And then I always wonder, every so briefly on morning's like this, how I am going to get everything I need to get done in a day, done. It just doesn't seem possible. But then life keeps inching forward reminding me to clear my mind and work on the tasks at hand. Life inches forward. Tasks are always at hand.
By the end of the morning, I wish I could partition my day out as Shakespeare does a sonnet. Partition my day out into neat little stanzas complete with a gorgeous iambic pentameter, and neat romantic couplets. Every moment would be poetry. The day would always be complete, & beautiful. Each task I finished could end with a rhyme within a scheme.
Instead, my life often feels a bit out of focus, just like this morning. A bit groggy and unsure, a clashing between the domesticated urban farm for wayward animals I run and a overly wrought bad poets beat club I want to attend. Nonsensical words and actions often stumble out of my mouth and I feel like I am trying to shove more lines, words, moments into every second of the day.
Finally I remember that this morning time is a time of slowing down and editing my content, even if it is not for very long, even if it is not very good. Listening & listening, even if its not for very long.
Maybe someday my inner Shakespeare will show up.
Until then I will be busy writing, making, & knitting my own version of awkwardly paced, busy, puzzle pieced sonnet of a life. Loving and caring for this little wayward and quirky domesticated urban farm.