Abby, my canine sidekick, and I enjoy starting the day early. After a quick breakfast, Abby is ready to follow me down to the water barrel where I begin to fill watering cans. The splashing of water seems to wake the birds and slowly they join us with their perfect pitch. With our wagon full of heavy watering cans we follow the softly lit path down to the garden. The next half hour weeds are pulled, vines are placed on poles, roots are watered and, on a good day, fresh vegetables are gathered.
Each summer, day begins with this most enjoyable routine; until recently. One morning a neighbour snapped a photo of a bear that was meandering down our street, calmly enjoying the sunrise; Abby and I would have been at the garden as he passed by! A week later I was surprised to see a tall thin fox running down the street and disappear into the forest. And, if this wasn’t enough, my friend was shocked to cross paths with a porcupine early one morning.
I decided to play it safe so we stopped our morning routine. I simply took Abby out on a leash each morning for a few minutes. It was decided that evenings would be our time in the garden.
This decision didn’t work out too well. By the time evening arrived my tiredness would win out and the garden began to show signs of neglect. Also, restlessness had taken up residence in my soul expressing itself through impatience and tiredness. My morning routine had grounded me in a quiet time of prayer and solitude that resulted in a profound sense of connectedness with God; I was missing this deeply.
So, we bravely re-committed to our much loved morning routine. Abby and I have been returning the wagon to its place by the water barrel just as the sun’s early rays climb over the horizon. It is with joy that I drink my morning coffee with a touch of dirt under my nails and a happy dog by my feet. We have not met any wild beasts and if we do, we have decided to simply smile, nod and quietly go about our business. You see, us early morning types tend not to be very social.
Rumi wrote, “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.” I am grateful that each morning starts with this quiet time; a time when I can listen to the secrets of the breeze.