Mornings Are Mine

Fall mornings offer the opportunity for reflection.  2nd Tuesday revisits a piece by the author Hilda Wales.

For 70 years I’ve slipped out of the bedroom early in the morning with my finger in the door as a cushion to keep clicks or bangs from waking someone – my sister, my roommates, my husband.  I’ve raced the robins to claim early morning as my own.

As a young girl, I walked through crusted snow as sunrise turned it to rose-pink sparkles.  I milked our old cow, warming my hands on the teats, leaning my head against her warm flank, sharing the beauty of a winter morning with her.  In college I often tiptoed downstairs at 4 a.m. to be alone and study in the dorm lounge while three roommates slept on, as did the rest of the school.  That peaceful place in time belonged to me.

Tranquility in early morning still evokes the joy of being a young mother, feeling the soft warmth of a newborn – that moment between mother and child at the first feeding of the day. Later I cherished my own few moments of calm and silence with a cup of coffee before setting out breakfast for four children and heading downtown to my own work and its strident demands and noisy responsibilities.

In morning’s silence, I recall sounds – early mornings in Chile as the sun rose over the Atacama Desert and the same ragged little newspaper boy passed down our street, calling with his special intonation, “El Dia”; in England, hearing the clink of glass milk bottles delivered to our front door; in Monterrey, Mexico, the sound of noisy buses grinding down the streets, picking up those other early risers whose work began at 6 a.m.

Nighttime never has this special quality of serenity – there’s always chatter, fatigue, TV, chores for whatever distinctive stage of life I traverse at the moment – but the morning is mine.

Ms. Wales is the author of “Into Every Singing Silence,” published by Finishing Line Press, January 2014.