Every day I begin again, in the darkness of morning, I peel back the covers, plant my sleepy feet on the floor and slowly stand up. I stretch my toes along the carpet feeling for my slippers and make my way to the back of my bedroom door, take down the soft gray robe from its hook and one arm at a time, I pour myself gingerly into it.
Down the creaking stairs and onto the cool tile floor of the kitchen, I carry myself over to the stove where I grind coffee beans and boil water in a kettle. A few scoops and a sprinkle of cinnamon go into the same French press I’ve used for years. The aroma of a Fall morning fills my head, still groggy having recently returned from a long night of dream travel over mountains and across oceans.
The husband and children are still asleep. The house breathes a collective arrangement of inhales and exhales. Small movements–a few twists of sheets and quilts, I can vaguely hear over the hum of the refrigerator and the billowing of drapery above a vent. Its sails filled with warm air, fall gently back against the window wearing a lacework of frost. These are the sounds of moon-filled empty rooms.
Steam begins to rise from the kettle and before it has a chance to scream, I lift it up and empty its volatility into the coffee pot, soaking the coffee grounds, breathing in another chance to make this day count, to not be swept away by its abduction of seconds, minutes, hours…
While the coffee steeps, I light a candle set on an old saucer bringing the kitchen table into small light. Holding the warm mug (a potter-friend’s artwork) raised in one hand I flip through a cookbook or a magazine with the other. This is the time to imagine all that is possible. This is sacred time before the words of others can change the course of the day.
I empty my first thoughts–sometimes only lists of need-to’s, should-do’s, dinner ideas and grocery items–inside a college-ruled composition notebook, then close the book and forget about it. By now the first of the kids to wake is climbing down the stairs, only his footsteps sound like a sneaker going round and round in a dryer, clunk-clunk, clunk-clunk.
I make the most of his sleepiness, hug him while he’s still rumpled and warm and bury my nose into his soft neck taking in the sweet scent only dreams can leave behind.