“It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in the broken world.” — Mary Oliver, Invitation
Each morning I wake I have forgotten what I told myself the day before.. that this day will be another day, another chance, another opportunity. Forget yesterday, live for today. But still I have to peel myself from my warm bed, little dog snoozing. Snuggling next to me, disturbing him at this early hour.
I creep downstairs, the fear of waking my toddler in every step on the creaky stairs. Kettle on, hot cup of tea. I sit on my favourite sky blue chair, under an old blanket, looking out the window that overlooks the valley. It’s pitch black out there, lights twinkling, but so soon the sky lightens revealing wispy white mist, a cloudy sky. I can hear a cockerel’s call somewhere in the distance.
I listen to ‘Wild Geese’, written and read by Mary Oliver, a favourite of many I’m sure. Her voice soothes me, welcomes me into the day. Her poem reminds me to live on without drama, to be, to make the most of my day, to make the most of my short time on this planet. And then I can begin, a little journalling, writing, a short meditation. Some quiet time grounded in my head and my body, before I spend the next hour taking orders from someone 35 years my junior. I need this time. It makes my day better, makes me more patient, less reactive, less internal struggles. It’s time to be before the doing begins. I always struggle to be when I’m doing.
It’s a daily reminder of who I am. Not wife, mother.. those are just tick boxes and no badge of honour without being fully present in our moments together of which I struggle believe me. In these moments I remember my love for beyond my husband, child and dog, for all people, myself included, children and animals, not just my own. All I can think of is everyone is where they are meant to be, doing what they are meant to be doing, in this vast web of life. And I feel patient, kind and understanding.
And then the call of my 3 year old beckons upstairs, yells ‘mummy it’s morning’!! And I’m whipped out of my dreamy hour into reality. Sleeping bag off, a cuddle carry downstairs as he calls it, pots on the oven top, fruit out, coffee in the pot, radio on, shrieking hurls from my toddler at his every whim. Being screamed at whilst making porridge for your little one and keeping any semblance of calm has got to be my greatest spiritual practise yet! And then finally we’re all sat down, him with a steaming bowl of porridge, me with a hot sweet coffee. 1st task of the day done. Looking out the window, talking about what’s to come. A sip of delicious coffee, a moment of quiet. I’m so happy to be sitting here with him in this moment.
I love taking time to be with myself, to be quiet, go inwards. But the day ultimately beckons with its noise, its upheaval, its rushing. The more I try to escape it the more it pushes me, pushes me. To be of this world is a beautiful thing. To be present with its ridiculousness, with its imperfect beauty, with its scowling humans, its delicious landscapes. What a world to witness, to be part of. Soaking in the love, the pain, the frustration as we encompass all of it. Each one of us lightness and darkness held together with skin. Letting the world lead us on. Being immersed in it, not running away from it. Thats where I want to be. Part of this world without being sucked dry by it. Immersed in it but not fully of it. Drenched in it but with freedom to remember who I am, who listens to the kind, encouraging and understanding voice in my head. Who nourishes that one and lets the other battle elsewhere.