High moonlight captures winter’s leafless trees as it falls, drawing them in silvery-black ink across the snowy canvas below. The beam so bright, every mound of snow, outlined. Every impression, shaded. Every detail of every limb etched in perfect duplicate. Stillness holds it all.
This is morning. Very early morning. I’m standing in the dark, in the middle of the great room, with windows on all sides, windows at the gable peak, windows at the dormer. And I realize in this glass enclosure, it’s not dark at all. Moonbeams freely come inside, slide across the walls, cast themselves across the floor.
To the moonbeams, I add candlelight, then a low blue flame beneath the kettle on the stove. I spread open my yoga mat. Nellie yawns from her chair, stretches her limbs, falls back asleep (she’s not a morning person). I stretch and breathe and focus. Quietly and intentionally asking. Quietly and intentionally receiving. A cup of hot tea, then, and paper and pen, beneath a throw blanket on the sofa. A few more moments of taking care (thankful that I’ve prepared for this the night before).
Next, I open a blank page on my screen and begin to write. In a two hour window, I let as many words fall that will.
This early morning rising isn’t a star or a badge or a platform. It’s not a requirement for or definition of the simple life. It’s just time, that’s all. It’s me, knowing since childhood how I’m patterned toward mornings. It’s me, knowing, treasuring the richness I find in the early hours, and making space for it. It’s me, most awake, alive, productive, and receiving.
I close the computer then, put earbuds in, and keep our house. Just one area, in an hour window, and only if it’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. It’s good, knowing that, of the 168 hours in the week, housekeeping takes up only four of them.
I gravitate toward the kitchen, next, to slice, chop, mix, prep dinner, and pull together a quick breakfast. Boys land at the dining table as the sun broadens the light, chatting small talk with us, forking goodness into their bellies before they wash their dishes, throw their backpacks on, and roll down the driveway in the Jeep toward school.
Then, I go for a run. Nellie and I do. Or, on alternating days, it’s a flip flop of barre3 and kettle bell. Fitness is an intention, part of my lifestyle, part of the way I move and live in my days.
Sometimes, though, I don’t run at all. Or cue barre3. Or pick up the kettle bell. I load Nellie up and we go for a hike instead. Sometimes I have impromptu rest days. Sometimes, a wide work project comes in and sits itself down right in the middle of everything. I accommodate and adjust for the sometimes as best I can.
It’s late morning now. Following a hot shower, I dress for the day and sit down with my work.
It’s just time. Simply time, all this. Same amount to all, given in equal measure. But, it’s discovery, too. It’s seeing time, noticing where it lies, finding its secret rooms.
For some, it’s late at night.
I’ve found mine in early morning.
Simple. Reachable. Doable. Small ways. They pack enough punch to change your world, or your day. Or maybe, simply and gloriously, they’ll change your moment. Small Ways is a series about small objects, small gestures, small touches. Small ways for living well.
If you’d like help in creating a soulful home, I’d love to work with you. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Here, I write on living well. Where tasteful design and simple living meet in an inspired, organic way.
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