Waking up just moments before the alarm reverberates with its low, harmonious tone (meant to take me gently from one consciousness to another), I stretch my body long, feeling all the spaces beneath my skin fill with life. In one fluid motion, I swing my feet to the floor and rise up, barely disturbing my sleeping mate.
“It’s early. Go back to sleep,” I murmur, needlessly, as he has already fallen back into the gentle rhythm of deep, slow breaths.
The dog barely notices my movements as I make my way down the hallway to the kitchen to begin the ritualistic brewing of the sacred elixir. First I fill the kettle and set it to boil, then I pour myself a large glass of water and leave it beside my glasses on the table to wait. The yoga mat awaits in the closet, and there is exactly enough time to unroll it, step solidly onto my mountain and fold into a few, glorious, forward bends, before the rumbling of the kettle ushers me back to the kitchen.
Coffee steeping in the stainless steel French press, I pick up my water, push my glasses back onto my face, and look out the window at the winter whiteness that has challenged this year’s coming of spring. Breathing deep the memories of so many years of waiting for spring, I smile to myself and claim, yet again, another badge of living in Upstate New York: snow falling where blooms should be bursting.
After a few extra moments by the window, I drink the water, pour the coffee, and settle into the chair to read, to write and to wait for the house to awaken.
Reality: I forgot to “unset” my alarm and it shocked me awake at 4:30, disturbing the two children nearby and my poor husband. Slamming the phone around to silence it, we all fall back to sleep…sort of. The youngest of the kids is up and moving now, and it is just a matter of time before he hits upon a task that he just can’t do without some assistance. I haul myself out of bed, but not before selfishly pulling the covers around me to protect me from the winter that never seems to end. The light streams through the window, leaving my husband no chance of actually continuing to try to sleep, and the dog begins to bark incessantly at the back door, incredulous about the fact that no one has let him out yet. I open the door and release him into the yard, cursing the snow that has, once again, covered any hope of a morning walk. Ignoring the few dishes still sitting in the sink, I microwave yesterday’s coffee, appreciating that the task of cleaning the pot can wait a bit longer. I glance at the closet door and think, briefly, of my yoga mat, before choosing to catch up on the Mueller investigation and the morning news instead. I sit down with the computer, the coffee and realize, too late, that I haven’t had any water.