Morning Sketches

I recently discovered that over the course of 2017, I inadvertently kept a record of our changing seasons from the early morning vantage of my dining room table.  This is a sampling of those reflections taken from my daily journal and reflected upon again.  

March 7.

It is morning again and the wind is strong.  Out my window, thin bark on the birch trunks flap like feathers in the moving air.  They twitch so constantly that they seem almost to be glistening.  Now the sun has crested the roofline of my neighbor’s house and a small shadow falls from my hand onto the paper that is receiving these words.  In this new light the feathery bark glistens stronger and in new tones of tan.  It is lovely and I could watch it for a long time.  A gray line moves in the sky and I recognize it for diluting my hands shadow and dimming the dancing tree feathers.  It will pass and another will come and such will be the backdrop of our day.

March 8.

The wind is with us again, loud.  I hear it in the chimney, up it roars and then fades and comes back more slight, and on and on.  I see its evidence as green tips swirl in unison across the yard and in the ever dancing motion of the birch bark.  The sun joins us, and hope.  Hope for a day with more of its rays.  The sun reveals smudges and dust; the windows need to be washed.  And it reveals the perfect green of the aloe plant sitting on their sill.  I never think to wash my windows, distracted by all of the beauty on the other side of them – what is the meaning of a pane of glass in between?  And I suppose I will go on this way – too wrapped in the movement of the wind and the rays of the sun to mind too much the dust and debris that settle in their midst.

March 11.

I have been lucky each morning this week to have the bright light of the sun streaming in the windows when I sit down to write.  I am lucky again today.  Some may say blessed rather than lucky, but I know that the sun does not shine down in this spot just for me.  It is I who is privileged to be alive in this spot at this moment to witness and feel the sun.  The blessing is not that the sun is here for me, but that I am here at all.

March 21.

Good morning spring!  You snuck up on me this year.  Your warmth took me by surprise, you are teasing us, but I will laugh along with you.  I will laugh in the frigid breeze still blowing though your bright rays.  And I will laugh when the snow flurries come and dot the roofs and greening grass.  I will laugh when my children run through that green with bare toes that will chill too quickly.  They will laugh, not dreaming of warmer grass, but relishing these blades.  

April 9.

Good morning.  Good morning.  Pen in hand is how I wish always to meet the day.  Waiting for the trickle or the waves of words to come.  I am happy always with the simple flowing stream, breaking and churning against the stones in its path.  The stones too are part of the path.

May 18.

I am paralyzed by possibility so I think I will sit down and write.  Pen on paper always users clarity, gives me purpose, empties me without guilt or question or doubt.  It just is.  I just am.  I just am, when there is a pen in my hand.

June 11.

The leaves play in the morning light and their moving shadows are cast on my table.  I hear a lone bird chirping, I am too late for the chorus.  I can almost hear the leaves moving against each other, but mostly I imagine their sound through my looking.  This is the second day of the wind.  It is strong, but not so strong that it has given up play.

July 24.

I am back at my table, a constant.  The morning is surprisingly cool for a July day and the patio door is open.  The engine turns, a surprise I was expecting.  I listen to the engine cycle up and down and I wait for the change that signals movement.  Brief glimpses of sunshine bring immediate comfort, she signals the clear sky.

November 5.

I sat down this morning with the expectation of a winters view; but instead I was surprised by an abundance of green layers still hugging the other side of the windowpanes.

November 6.

It looks uncomfortable outside, but here I go.  I want to learn friendship with the cold.

December 30.

The blanket of snow laying across our backyard transitions from smooth to broken, marking places untouched and those where we ran and played.  Today the sky is blue and crisp; the suns rays brightly illuminating the white world.  Everything is clear when the sun shines down on snow. 

December 31.

The sun is with us as we close the year, shining crisp shadows.  It prompts small shadows falling from waves in the snow and grander shadows that reach out across them, spanning the yard.  It is too cold for bird song this morning.  The air is still and silent except for the quivering of branches in a soft breeze.  Their movement too is captured by slight shadows, gray and acute on the frozen white surface. 

The air is sharp against my face as I stand in my snowy yard watching the puppy and hoping he will complete his task before he becomes too cold to walk in the snow.  For no other reason would I be standing in my yard, in the snow, in a subzero temperature at eight o’clock on a Sunday morning.  I feel the sting on my face and I trace the shadows with my watering eyes and I am not sure I have ever been so thankful to be uncomfortable. 

With gratitude,


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