I can’t get outside fast enough. The sun’s morning light is my alarm clock. I have no shades or curtains on the upper half of my bedroom windows and the outside world is now like a daily piece of art.
The collective sounds of the birds’ morning routine seem like they are there for my ears alone. Should their AM chirps easily translate from bird speak to human, it is like they are directly talking to me alone.
"Alayne, come on, we are waiting. Rise and shine. The morning is your personal oyster."
I make my way to my morning routine of teeth brushing, splashing my face with water and moisturizing, my go to skin care regimen since I was twelve years old. Throw on some gardening clothes and shoes, make my bed, turn off my bedroom reading light, and off to the kitchen for some fresh ground coffee. I tinker around with some quick morning tasks to pass the time as I anxiously await the morning brew.
My morning routine is sacred. I simply do not give it up for much. Once the coffee is ready, I grab my laptop and head to my first floor where the real magic awaits.
The smells, the sights, the new blooms, the ideas, the humming of its growth, the new seeds just planted already filling the pots looking up at me with their leaf mouths open waiting for water.
It is simply miraculous.
I walk the garden, small and compact. Quiet, fragrant. Bountiful. I gave up vegetable planting a few years ago and am a better soul for it, flowers and herbs sustain me. Zinnias are the pièce de résistance, my flower of choice for its hardy and bright color barely needing a sip of water. But they come later. For now it is the early summer tease to remind me of the glorious warmth heading our way after living through another New England winter.
I am torn between just sitting and staring, smelling and listening, watching with a bird watching eye or writing about it all. The words swell inside of me where they feel like they will implode if I don’t get them out on paper, but then I miss the catbirds making their second nest in the limelight hydrangea. As I write, they watch me wondering why I am a voyeur in their nesting.
I sit shoulder to shoulder with the sweetest climbing honeysuckle using it as an excuse to take many deep breaths to hold on to the familiar smell that propels me back to my childhood with my brother in Jamestown, RI.
The Sounds of Morning
I listen quietly to the rustling sounds of the robin back again in the wisteria bush that has taken shape as a full wall of privacy over my right shoulder. She builds her nest across from the catbirds, sharing my yard as their place to give birth. I feel honored.
I can hear their intimate noises as she builds her home, noises I would have otherwise missed if I wasn’t a morning soul.
I hear the sounds of my neighbors- the screen door squeaking as he makes his way to his truck and starting it up, the sounds of the gravel under the tires as he drives away to his job. I don’t know what he does and I have never met him, but I know his sounds.
The local news on the television of my next door neighbor who I adore. She is an early riser too and we have been known to have full fledged conversations between our porches as early as 5:30 am making what I am sure is a false assumption that everyone is awake at that time like us.
I am fairly confident that we both think, without saying it aloud, that if they are not they should be. I chuckle as I write that.
It is a chilly morning and I am annoyed for a brief moment that I moved my fire pit aside thinking I wouldn’t be needing it after the 85 degree blast we had just two days ago that forced me to hermetically seal up my house shutting all of my windows and promptly putting the air conditioner on.
I am out of coffee in my cup and I must steal away to get more, but I don’t want to miss a minute of this rich delight I call my morning peace.
I watch the plump catbird curious if she is the one who will be birthing babies. They are in pairs unlike the robin who works solo. One catbird builds the other guards from a nearby post standing watch.
The cardinal is singing to me from a far away tree, distinct— I recognize the sounds easily and the trill always comforts me.
The other tenant in the same house as the one with the truck has come out at his usual 6:00 am time to start his truck where he lets it run for what seems like fifteen minutes every morning, rain or shine, cold or hot, winter or summer. Odd.
I glance at my garden to see my work from last year, the idea that the flowers needed to layer more. When one dies, another must come. I added and added. Moved and changed to accomplish this task and yet it will never be done. Nothing will ever be done until it is and then this part of my life is over. The squirrels and rabbits and birds are so comfortable with me that they barely notice my presence except when I get up to get more coffee which I am headed for right now.
Up with the sun. It is what sustains me and motivates me every day. I relish it and miss it when it is over, but I have the audacity and human arrogance to think that it will be here waiting for me tomorrow. Let’s hope so.