Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Familiar Feeling

No one was up this morning when I finished my yoga practice in the living room: thirty minutes of chai tea and Sun Salutations and prayers of gratitude while the cats sleep in the carpeted "tree" in front of the window.
I fed the cats and the dog then turned on the coffee before heading out into into the frosty fog for a walk with, always with, my eager canine companion. Not the road for us this morning, not with the fog, even wearing a hot pink vest. We cut down in-laws' driveway to walk along the river, through the fields my father-in-law used to pasture cows in, heading towards a hidden point of land at the far end of the property.

The river was still and silent. I knew it was there but I couldn't see or hear it. Not a ripple, not a sound.
The dog's nose was busy, thrusting through the white-tipped grass, lifting into the air, smelling the passage of deer and skunk and raccoon. I breathed in the smell of the swamp at the shore, the pine, the wet morning air. Breathed deeply and said another prayer of gratitude.This time and this pace is so precious.

Not even a duck took flight as we passed along the edge of the river.

The fog, thick and damp, but not icy, not cold, hung over the river like a curtain, draping the trees and the grass, shrouding the church in the distance and the pickup trucks heading up the two-lane road.
When we arrived back home, no one was up so I poured a cup of coffee and took that first, hot mouthful all by myself. Eventually, the house stirred and other coffee mugs were filled. Conversation began. I checked Facebook and looked at my To Do of 12 items. The rest of the day began.

The walk this morning felt like coming home. It felt like those days in my first few years here before my father died, before my mother moved in, when my husband left for work at six o'clock. When the house was empty when I got up, stretched, fed the creatures. When I dressed in jeans and a turtleneck, gloves and a toque, with the dog at my side, and headed out into the cool morning air, alive and alone and alert. Filling my lungs and my cells with the quiet and the peace, the grass and the trees, the river and the sky.
Even when neither can be seen.

I needed this today, this break from a week that is packed to its brim. That's not usual for me, to be heavily scheduled, to be this busy, but it's what I've worked for -- this book, these events, this life as an author -- so what I needed was a morning to remember how it all began and why I am so grateful.
The frosty fog was lovely. Even when you can't see what's out there, you know it's exactly what you need.

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