The cottage is asleep. I am inside and I can’t hear the sounds of the outdoors. It feels like the whole world is still asleep.
This is the moment before dawn. My time.
My husband is awake with me and we sit silently as we write. Today in my journal pages, I am writing about the morning. I am grateful for this one in particular. I often need to find a moment alone as part of my morning ritual.
I go outside. I am struck by the noise – the birdsong ruckus. I am late to the party. The sky is lightening but I know better. I know the sun has a few minutes before its grand entrance.
I sit and listen. For what? Nothing in particular. I sit in solitude as an invitation.
“Solitude itself is a way of waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt. And that is why solitude is never static and never hopeless.” – May Sarton
As a wife and a mother of five, my days are filled with interaction and chatter. Yesterday, we drove almost 7 hours to get here. Our four children began to lose it after hour 5. This was pretty good considering our DVD player is broken and only half of them have iPods to get lost in their own music. I sang and danced to engage them during the drive. For me, that is a lot of human contact in a confined space but I maintained my composure for the most part.
I do have a secret.
My energy and my patience levels are directly correlated to the success of my completion of my morning ritual each and every day which includes a moment of solitude.
Last year, I wrote about morning rituals. For the most part, I have been faithful to keeping my mornings sacred. My ritual shifts a little when we travel but the essential ingredients remain:
1. Wake up at 4:30am.
2. Write morning pages while enjoying my cup of coffee.
3. Meditate in solitude.
There are also sunrises sprinkled in there with my husband as another essential but sometimes, like today, it isn’t feasible leaving the kids. My eldest has yet to join us on our cottage vacation.
I am going to add “reading poetry” to the mix – carefully chosen and beautifully crafted words to open my day. And movement is also a part of my mornings.
The solitude is the restorative part of my morning ritual. I may not find time before bed to be alone before I drift to sleep. I may not have a moment through the course of my day to be silent or find quiet. But I know for sure that I can find it first thing in the morning.
Solitude allows me to re-engage consciously and to be fully aware of the world. Whether it’s five minutes or fifteen minutes, sitting in stillness is a gift to myself. It is a chance for inner work and to set intentions. It is an act of self-care and kindness.
In solitude, I can hear myself. I can discern my thoughts as they rise out of a fog in the absence of the white noise of a busy day. I collect these mental fragments, scattered puzzle pieces, and reassemble them. I drink in the experience of yesterday. I take my temperature and I take stock. I breathe according to my own rhythm. I find clarity. I invite the inaudible and the invisible.
And as the cottage begins to stir, I am ready.
I am ready to accept the invitation of what this day has to offer.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.