Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Morning


I woke too early again this morning. Managed to stay in bed 'til 5:15, but uh-unh,sleep wasn't coming back. Slipped on a t-shirt and pyjama bottoms, barefoot down the stairs, let the cat in and scooped some food into her dish. Emptied the kettle and refreshed it with cold water. Switched it on, admiring its little-bit-kitschy, little-bit-sci-fi, blue-lit viewing panel. Emptied tea leaves from the pot into the compost bucket on the counter and scalded the teapot with water from the rapidly heating kettle. Splashed that scalding water into the sink, then added fresh loose tea, a smoky blend of Russian Caravan and Lapsang Souchong. Switched my computer on, ear alert to the familiar changes of water approaching boiling point. Grabbed the kettle handle at the precise point of pitch and rolling rhythm that I've grabbed one how many times in this lifetime?  In the presence of how many voices?

This morning, it's just me. Paul sleeps still, while I fill my mug, splash some milk in, and head into my office to check all the incoming data while sipping my way into morning.

But we face due East here. What does that mean? Primarily, that mornings can be very insistent, beyond inviting, if there's any sun at all. Impossible to concentrate on a monitor, no matter what news it holds. On one of my distracted glances out the window to my left, I see an otter's head moving purposefully, yet so tranquilly, in our little bay. And I remember that these summer mornings are limited, while the computer and its news can wait.

So I grab my mug, scoop up a book, and head to the beach. Where I find the tides have created a teeter-totter for my amusement. . . . Commentary about balance, perhaps?

 And I read snippets from my book, but mostly I look, breathe, listen.

 The transition from dawn into morning features astonishing light, its precision makes me yearn for better camera skills.
 Weeds have their glorious moment. . .
 The sharpness softens as the sun gets some distance from the horizon
 but as the sky blues up, the trees do a Technicolor thing. . .
 Sigh . . . .
Good. Morning!

p.s. yes, I know, I've been here before, these early mornings, rejecting computer for sitting and watching outdoors. But a colleague brought this quotation of Gertrude Stein's to my attention recently: There is no such thing as repetition, only insistence. . . .

28 comments:

  1. I woke up at 5:17am. No ocean, no sunrise, just city noises and a patio outback overlooked by neighbors. Still and all I love the early mornings. Always have. I get a sort of wistful comfort knowing that you're awake too.

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    1. I'll nod your way, tomorrow morning. . . we'll enjoy our matutitinal solitude together

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  2. I woke very early also but not to the peacefulness you did. Wedding craziness overloads my mind these days with my daughters wedding in two days.
    But by this time next week I'll be on the island enjoying the peace, quiet and majestic beauty surrounding you! I'm really looking forward to it!
    Thanks for the preview...

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    1. Wedding excitement -- no wonder you're waking early! We have that ahead of us, at the end of the summer, so I look forward to hearing more about your experience. I hope you find time to savour the joys, despite the craziness. . .

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  3. i love the G. Stein quote.

    my early morning awakefulness is usually around 4am - if i stick it out i get back to sleep in time to wake up for the day. no beach to wander along instead though.

    *envioushands*

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    1. If I wake around 3 or 4, I can usually get back to sleep eventually, but this morning 4:15 stretched stubbornly 'til 5:15, and I gave up . . . I have no little one at home, though, and classes are out now, so I have the option of an afternoon nap -- s'pose you don't get that luxury, or if you do, you don't often splurge it on sleep. . .

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  4. I woke early to a kitten jumping on my bed very near to my face.
    I love the image of the log on the rock
    'very balanced" like your comments...
    such a peaceful part of the world you live in makes me want to live on the ocean.

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    1. It was such an affirmation, seeing that log balancing there, a message from the Natural World!

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  5. What a lovely way to start the day. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. You're welcome! And thanks for commenting.

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  6. "Summer mornings are limited"...I suppose one could interpret that literally, that in this year, this summer, there will only be so many such mornings but in pensive mood, I enjoy such precious gifts as your beach-scape with an eye to the overall arc of life. A friend, like me also just entering her fifth decade, with 3 young children age 6, 4, and 2, is dying. Perhaps a few weeks left. It reminds me anew that very scrap of beauty available to us on any given day is such an inestimable privilege, to be noted and appreciated. I potter around my garden at dawn taking focussed pleasure in low-key, diurnal beauty such as a poppy petal softly dropping, light dancing through feathery grasses, a restorative, rustling stillness before the world at large crashes awake. It is deeply wise to never become complacent or unseeing of the loveliness all around us, wherever we find ourselves.
    Hester

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. A difficult time to find pleasure in the world, but it's so necessary that I'm glad to see your appreciative and attentive observations. May they bring you solace.

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  7. Truly, it's like you're on vacation every day of the year at that house! And I LOVE the teeter totter thing in the ocean. Very metaphoric, IMO.

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    1. Oh, you'll have to check it out in November. . . or February. Not so vacation-y. But right now, oh yes! And it delivers me wise metaphors. Crazy, eh?

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  8. I love it that your tides have a sense of humor!

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    1. Nicely put, Susan. They are rather witty, aren't they?

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  9. I for one am glad that you stepped away from the computer to capture the teeter totter and then returned to share the photos and the lovely description of the tea pot just before it screams.

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    1. Thanks, Terri -- glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  10. The teeter-tottering installation at the shore is surely a message - one I'm sure you picked up and stored for future, less inspiring mornings.
    I love that quote!

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    1. It's a pretty strong message, isn't it!?

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  11. Your Gertrude Stein quote brings to mind Tess Gallagher's "Refusing Silence":

    Heartbeat trembling
    your kingdom
    of leaves
    near the ceremony of water. I never
    insisted on you. I admit
    I delayed. I was the Empress
    of Delay. But it can't be
    put off now. On the sacred branch
    of my only voice--I insist.
    Insist for us all,
    which is the job
    of the voice, and especially
    of the poet. Else
    what am I for, what use
    am I if I don't
    insist?
    There are messages to send.
    Gatherings and songs.
    Because we need
    to insist. Else what are we
    for? What use
    are we?

    Have been soaking in your posts for some time with great appreciation. This at the end of the day, with the blue heron just now leaving--

    Thanks for your generous sharing--Elle

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    1. Elle, I'm so moved that you would take the time to share this wonderful poem (which I've passed along as my #todayspoem on Twitter). I must be doing something right if I'm gathering such thoughtful readers. Thank you!

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  12. That sounds like an ideal morning: book at beach. Am rereading Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance at the moment. Have you ever?

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    1. It's quite a few years since I read it. My favourite Mistry is still perhaps his short story cycle, Tales from Firozsha Baag, although I also really like Such a Long Journey.

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  13. So I was supposed to go up town for some ‘me’ time and then having just logged off received a phone call demanding I press print on behalf of Emin, and still I think yes, I can do this and then I got a bunch of effing flowers. Pink one! Ugh, so instead of a solo meander I have just read your older posts and I do empathise with waking up early, I tend to when I have a lot whirling around my head, which was pretty much daily the last two weeks. I also find that sleeping without blinds can impact on a lie in. However now all the immediate stress has all but dissipated I have slept a lot better.
    How you ever drag yourself away from that view I will never know, it kept on raining since I commented last so the first week of this holiday will be spent as Dora the Explorer as I hack through the jungle to reclaim my garden.
    I am now very much looking forward to my main holiday in St Ives, but I have decided to keep blogging despite the paucity of readers as It is always nice to look back.

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    1. I hope you manage some "you time" in St Ives --- perhaps you'll get out with your camera again and share the results with us. I really want to get there some day. Meanwhile, I have a jungle to hack through as well . . . in time for the wedding next month!

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  14. Sipping tea, reading a book, and admiring all that nature has to offer sounds like such a beautiful way to spend an early morning when sleep can no longer be found. You live in such an enchanting place.

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    1. This must sound very enviable from your perspective, as you embark on such a huge move, with so little free time in an entire summer -- when I think of your schedule over the past few months, I'm exhausted! Take care on your big adventure. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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