The Morning Is
on a particularly fine pre Winter Solstice Day
Copyright 2022 by Christin Kaiser
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
have used avian avatars to describe their personalities for decades.
am a Lark, not a Night-owl. It might be amusing to look back at how I
managed to evolve when so many near and dear to me in my formative
years were ‘up till all hours’. . ..
was raised in a multi-generational New England farmhouse. My parents
and older sister and I lived in the front portion, our paternal
grandmother and two unmarried aunts resided in the center rooms, and
first an uncle and aunt and close in age cousin occupied the back
carriage shed apartment; before my first grade teacher and her
family took up a decades long residency..
say I was a premature and weedy baby, but that didn’t stop me
from thriving. Whatever sleep issues a premature infant may have had
I can’t recall a time that I haven’t been able to leap
out of bed with joy in my heart if not a song.
has annoyed many people across the years; from my older sibling
trying to make up for staying up late to watch Jack Parr on the
original Tonight Show, to pub crawling room mates in England ...right
up to the Night-owl I’ve been married to for over half a
back on my formative years, I had many role models, none of whom were
particularly early birds out to catch the worm. Dad was a hard
working Civil Engineer commuting daily to Boston, so he had to be up
early, even after his attacks of insomnia had him dragging. On
retirement he was rarely out of bed before ten a.m. Mum was a natural
Lark, but as a practicing RN with two school aged children at home,
she took night-duty shifts so she’d be home when we left for
school and returned. My grandmother’s natural preference was an
unknown, as she had to be up before dawn cracked as a girl raised in
the countryside of New Hampshire, with duties and chores to finish
before walking to school, later as a young dental hygienist in
Boston, she’d have needed to be up early as well. Marriage and
four children would have set the mold for her hour of rising, even
before moving out to the country home on the North Shore.
unmarried Aunts were haphazard in their hours. Sometimes up bright
and early and other times, usually weekends, sleeping in “
Chrisy don’t run, don’t let the door slam!”
any set chores, or reason to be up and about early why was I? Once I
was in school, the hours I could call my own felt so diminished that
I started to get up extra early just to be able to play alone with my
toy horses and later complete set of museum correct model dinosaurs..
I acquired pets and then a horse to care for it was mandatory to be
up early and feed and care for them before school stole my free time
majority of the day. My
friends who also had a horse or dog, grumbled about the dark cold
winter mornings trudging out to break ice from buckets and pick up
the stall. I adored going out with just the starlight to guide me.
Summer mornings meant I could be outside and riding off into the yet
to top the horizon sun, discovering young fawns tucked behind a clump
of tall grass while the doe watched from across the field. Or stand
my horse at the edge of the pond and watch mayflies meet their end
inside a trout’s gaping mouth.
in school in England, I remember watching the sunrise over Dartmoor,
conjuring Lorna Doone. My roommates missed and couldn’t fathom
why anyone could be bothered to sacrifice an hour’s sleep for
are magical anywhere in the world where there are spiders weaving
webs outside. Dew drops are the same in central New Hampshire as they
are on the coast of Maine, or Tasmania or even on the 32nd floor of a
posh hotel in Auckland New Zealand. The spiders are different, but dew
coalesced on the silken threads showcases the ephemeral artwork
only in the flat early morning light.
day on the ‘right side of the turf’ should be counted as
a gift, and I value each day I greet. Today was a particularly fine
gift, after several grey and grismal days in a row this morning
dawned bright and clear. I was up an hour before the alarm for 6:30.
I may be a Lark, but our new puppy was still in snooze mode, so it
took me longer to get both of us downstairs and outside than I might
have done alone. The stars were fading, the sky brightening and some
birds were unfolding themselves from a cozy tree crotch..it is
Sunday, a day of rest, and a time to take stock of the week just
passed and reassess the week to come. I have a fluid unstructured
skein of hours that are mine to use as I please. Coffee! Stoke the
wood stove, keep the puppy from ‘bouncing’ the cat, and
the cat from over disciplining the wayward pup..
long form Reiki session, and gentle yoga stretches, are followed by
delivering a thermos of fresh coffee to the bedside of my still
slumbering mate, who will enjoy emulating Winston Churchill and get
some research work done in bed before coming downstairs.
is still a hulking mountain of unstacked firewood brooding in the
driveway under tarps. It sends resentful vibrations to me, reminding
me that winter is
upon us ,
so shouldn’t I move it all into our woodshed and not tempt the
Snow Gods ?! Yes I should, but not right now, Having been empty
nesters for the past few decades, I am enjoying the new creativity of
cooking a special diet for the new puppy.
early in the day, is relaxing and rewarding. The north facing kitchen
window overlooks the slumbering garden, and the anti squirrel pole
mounted bird feeders that are in constant use. Next to sitting
mesmerized by my four goldfish, watching the wild birds at the
feeders is the most relaxing activity I can think of.
food prepping done, and the kitchen tidied up, it’s time to go
snuggle by the fire with the puppy, and read some light escapist
fiction. That sounds ridiculous, what could I wish to escape ‘from’
? Nothing at all. but as an armchair adventurer and time traveler,
there’s lots of places and times I enjoy escaping to! I’ve
promised The Captain ( my spouse holds the boat’s tiller, hence
his nickname) that for every three light books read, I’ll do
one serious tome. This week that volume is ‘Women of the Old
West’ by Winnifred Gallagher, parts are interesting, others are
a bit of a slog as she details early personalities forming the
Suffrage movements both East and West and the internecine conflicts
between the two. So a Christmas Cowboy romance has been slipped into
the stack of books by the love seat. Puppy is content, I’m
amused, and enjoying fresh coffee, and chunks of orange flesh that
were ‘left overs’ from this past week’s marmalade making. The sun is
finally up and over the pines along the lakeshore
across the road, bright shiny fresh and sweet early winter sunshine.
a delicious brunch, puppy and I go out to play catch and fetch, and
chat with the chickens in their covered run. The temperature has
risen to 37 and it feels almost balmy in the sun. The grumble from
the lurking unstacked wood has become deafening, so an exhausted pup
is secured in her own sun room space, and The Captain and I start
loading the gorilla cart and wheelbarrow with loose wood. I’m a
persnickety wood stacker, and since this is one of my chosen domestic
chores, he loads the carts and delivers a full one and removes the
empty while I stack inside the shed. With his donkey labor, we get
the job done three times as fast as if I was doing it all alone. We
make a great team! As the low angled winter sun starts to slide into
the back woods and shadows tickle us with chilly fingers, we agree to
call it a day. Hot spiced tea with hot cider and a dab of butter
await inside as well as a patient and lonely puppy in need of a
just finished the second hot toddy, and the cheese and crackers. The
pup is snoozing and the sweet an sour soup needs to be completed, so
I’ll stop this ramble and say how delightful my day has turned
out. I am so thankful to be a Lark, I feel I’ve enjoyed at
least five hours more of life everyday than most of my peers.
feathered friend you resemble, be sure to attend to the day’s
or night’s special moments. Live in each moment, embrace joy
and the wonder of our world.
Christin's story list and biography
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