Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Early Morning Reminder

Sometimes, we are asked to slow down.

This morning, I woke at 6 a.m.  It was, of course, a morning where I could have slept in.  School had been cancelled due to the snow and hubby was home until the afternoon anyway to help with rousing children.

My body had other ideas.

Instead of lying in bed trying to squeeze my shut eyes into submission, I gently shuffled into the kitchen and prepared some warm chamomile tea.  I then moved into the living room and turned off any lights behind me.  I sat in front of our large window, letting the tea warm me from the inside, and watched a quiet storybook before me.

The snow was still blue from the dark morning sky.  A substantial overnight storm had erased any traces of previous attempts to clear the ground, creating a glistening sheet that left no hints as to where the road might be.

The whir from the laptop fan started to enter my consciousness (a grating noise that before, I suppose, I'd learned to ignore).  I shut  it off and returned to the hug of silence.

And it was that that most held my awareness.  The silence.  Even the trees seemed to hold themselves in statuesque positions.  No movement.  In other scenarios, it might have been eerie.  Here, in that moment, I was deeply comforted by three words that popped into my head:

Death.  No breath.

Leaves were gone, all signs of emerging life blanketed under this light blue pile of glitter.  Everything held still.  No wind.  No breath.  And it was so absolutely beautiful.  It was as it should be.

With no breath, no cycle of in and out,
no seasons, no clearing out with the exhale and the winter,
no renewing with the inhale and spring,
life would cease.

I wonder - how close do we wander to death each day as we stifle our own breath...our physical breath as we limit deep breathing, rush through days...and our spirit's breath as we lay down in submission to "shoulds" and expectations.

I flirt with the thoughts of death that enter my head - not in a macabre way, but with the silent, still, pristine form that death brings to a vibrant life.  The transition that occurs.  The last exhale of this body so that we may inhale into a new space.

This morning, as my tea dwindled, I admit to returning to bed.  When I re-awoke, the snow plow had bustled up the blanket that had captivated me and the world was again panting all around.  But that beautiful moment of silence, that slow melting into breath and death through my living room window, has stayed with me.

For parents, for workers with bustling jobs, for anyone whose mind is not as still as the trees with no wind, I wish you even one morning where you too can experience this bliss.



  1. The chance to just stop. Not slow down because your body demands it, but just stop - brain and all. As I read your words I was there. I needed that, thanks!

  2. I read this beautiful passage and then sighed. Lovely writing, Lisa.
    I had to get out there and crunch through the crust. It was very nice just because there were very few cars on the road. Peaceful that way. I have been going WAY too fast. And love to have peaceful slow mornings. Hopefully soon.

  3. This is beautiful! Thank you for such beautiful words!

  4. this:
    "our spirit's breath as we lay down in submission to "shoulds" and expectations"
    this is what I needed to read.
    Thanks Lisa

  5. Occasionally I wake to enjoy the magic light... but I don't often think of the silence. I'm sure I've been missing something...

    Thank you.

  6. Oh, I am so jealous. I absolutely adore that time of the morning, when it has just snowed, and everything is so, so silent. It's just so magical. How precious that you got to experience that in solitude and really be present in the moment. We don't have snow like that since I've moved south, and oh, how I miss those mornings.
    Stay warm,

  7. as still as the trees...
    such wisdom in your
    beautiful words.
    i didn't even know
    i was thirsy
    for such tea.

  8. It really is amazing to wake up and see freshly fallen snow - all bathed in blue and everything so quiet and still. It is blissful and peaceful. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment - I'm so happy you got to enjoy it. :) Theresa

  9. I love that you didn't fight your body when it woke and "force" it to fall back to sleep. I admit, I do that often, because I'm terrified if I don't get my eight hours, I won't be able to finish my swim or that it will be really difficult. This is something for me to ponder- allowing myself to wake up a few hours early and enjoy the world before anyone else adds and input to it...

  10. I missed this post in my attempts to stay away from the computer a bit. It is so beautiful and one I needed to read today...
    Wishing you and yours the sweetest of the season's light and love, Beautiful Lisa.
    Merry Christmas !