3 min read

Friday Open Thread (with Mornings)

A book foregrounded on a tiled patio table dappled in early morning light. The book is CLOCK STAR ROSE SPINE by Fran Wilde.

Dear Friends,

I woke up this morning with a sore neck. It was the very stroke of 6AM, the sky a massed darkness of blue cloud with a pale line brightening above it. I was very tired – couldn't sleep til late – but my neck hurt, and I felt certain more sleep in strange positions would tip it over some unwelcome edge into something that would ruin the coming day.

Blearily, I set up a long foam roller on a mat. I lay on it, did the sorts of stretches that are more about holding still and breathing than anything else, letting the body remember its shape. While I did that dawn broke before me, and cool breezes curled their way into the room. By the time I stood up again, my neck felt wholly, miraculously improved.

I made some tea. I watered my small garden, marvelled at the fruiting of two tiny cucumbers on the vine I thought done for the season. I took a book of poetry out to the balcony and sat in the morning light, listened to the rustle of soft autumning air through leaves still green and lush, and read, and thought of how much I wanted to share the air and the sky and the green hosta with its pale purple blooms, and how, if not for a stiff neck, I might have missed it all – sunk back into sleep and slipped away from something better than a dream.

I don't write this to suggest any inherent virtue in waking early, or to hold up morning over evening, or anything like that. Yesterday, on a walk at dusk, I saw a black-crowned night heron on the river, still and quiet amid a clamour of ducks and arriving geese, their silhouettes sweeping across a new moon brightening in a deep blue sky like magic. I would not choose between them. But finding moments where good things overlap – where tea meets poetry and green leaves, where geese meet river and moon – feels so precious to me in a loud world threatening bad new governments. I want to mark each moment of grace. I want to fold them up and give them to you when I can.

Tell me of your moments, your graces, any time you tried something without expecting it to work, but it did, and left you brimming with gratitude for small, deep things.

Wishing you rest and respite,