In the morning kitchen, evening memories linger. Too tired to wrestle with dirty dishes, I’m more likely now to leave it all be. Gathered eggs nest in a basket on the counter next to the remnants of last night’s dinner and a pile of plates. Just lately, I’ve come to love the quiet calm and purpose I find in a morning kitchen. Despite whatever state of chaos I might find upon my arrival, I’m so happy to be there.
I’m done with the guilt I’ve given myself over the years – choosing bed over tidying up. Yes, it’s lovely to brew coffee in a clean kitchen, but there’s delight in a warm bed after a satisfying meal too. I don’t mind the morning mess, and finally how I actually feel is taking precedence over how I think I should feel.
There’s hope in a morning kitchen, a kind of promise to the day ahead as the room’s set to rights. This morning I lit a candle on the counter as I began to clean. A long, white dinner-party taper lit simply because I like candlelight – even in the morning – and especially in the kitchen. The act of lighting – a prayer – a pause – a moment of appreciation and offering, lighting whatever world-weary darkness may be on mind.
I’m home in the morning kitchen. There’s a flavor of peace. Leftover nourishment. Contemplation out the kitchen window over a sinkful of hot, soapy water. I watch the bounce of a bluejay from feeder to branch. The trot of a turkey hen across the yard. The greening of grass.
When I arrive home again at day’s end, the comfort of a clean evening kitchen will greet me. I’ll no doubt light the candle again. Feel happy again. Home again. Content. Right there in the kitchen.
one thing I’m proud of … one thing I’ve been procrastinating … something in service to others … … add to my general knowledge … bring something up the stairs I find languishing there at the bottom … follow through … grow as a human … read … write … acknowledge someone else’s efforts … use what I have … tidy up … pare down … waste nothing, not time – energy – or resources … right a wrong … reach out … lift up … let go … make the phone call … breathe … simplify that which I’ve made complex … face a challenge … believe … honor those who came before me … create … hope … learn … love …
I have so many writing ideas when there’s no time to write.
Truly, I have ever so much more to say once upon a work day, and despite my whenever I have day off intentions, I hardly ever follow through. I’ve netted many a willow wisp of an idea in the hour or so before my shift starts, but I live onward in the day and in the days after that without looking back to whatever thought I captured.
I have to believe if I had something important to say, I couldn’t help myself but say it.
Still, ideas I’ve left unexplored feel like hopes neglected and a voice – my voice – ignored.
I’ll need to meet myself face-to-face at this intersection of what I say I want and walking what I talk.
I wonder why the commitments to myself are those I’m least likely to honor?
Hope is hardy though, especially and always in spring. If ever there was a time for new growth, this is it.
So look for me nestled … and writing … among the branches of the forsythia, anticipating the bloom of the lilac, my words, and me.
Live in this difficult day too. Live in its sorrow, its uncertainty, its trembling hope. Live minute to minute, averting my gaze so as to avoid peering too far ahead of myself. Move slowly among the memories and their unboxing, the wistful wishes and what-might-have-beens, the celebrations and happy remembrances. Feel what you feel when you feel, but breathe in and out of each moment regardless. Because time will pass, and when I least expect it, even the sharpest edges will soften and peace will be made. Maybe it’s best to read the book only a page at a time, making notes in the margins I’ll be better prepared to read another day.
In the meantime, don’t go putting the cart before the horse or look ahead to some other day, imagining or assuming its an easier day to live. I know there’s shadows on the sunny days too, and it’s worth noting that rain doesn’t always fall from clouds. Sometimes hope arrives when I find even a crumpled, old wad of tissue in my pocket when I really need a tissue. Or from taking pen in hand in anticipation of a difficult day.