In the morning, life is set to a lower volume.
I wear woolly socks and walk quietly around my little apartment. I roll out the yoga mat and stretch and breathe. I get the crackling out of my joints and slowly warm and wake up.
Lately, in these early winter months, the sky brightens around 7am, and I watch it turn from a soft, glowy orange-pink to a brighter yellow to a clear and sparkling blue.
I go to the kitchen to boil water. The gas burner goes click-pop then settles into a steady sssss of flame. The water rumbles as it warms, humming like a gentle machine.
I grind coffee beans—a loud, sharp mechanic churn—and the smell of coffee fills the air. I pour the bubbling water over the beans, and the French press steams, condensation clutching to the carafe in speckled patterns.
I sit with my red notebook while the coffee steeps. I write two or three pages of anything that’s on my mind. Then I pour a cup and add a dash of half and half. Somewhere in the middle of writing I take my first sip and write, every time: the coffee is good today.
I’m not a morning person. I treasure sleep and need a lot of it. But once I started these rituals, just trying to carve out a little extra time in my day, I became totally hooked on them. I wish I could will myself to get out of bed even earlier. I wish I could stretch these mornings so they last on and on.
My boyfriend, Ben, knows things about math. Once I drew a graph and showed it to him. It looked like this:
“The morning is the best time. It pretty much all goes downhill from there,” I say with a smile, half-joking.
“That’s a beta distribution,” Ben tells me. “Or maybe a Weibull with some specific parameters. The parameters are important.”
The parameters are important, but they’re also simple. Ease your body and mind into the day. Go slow. Enjoy the peace. Do something simple for yourself. Smile. And, always, drink coffee.
When all else fails, I like to draw inspiration from Maira Kalman:
Here’s to the morning.
I first shared this post over at the Firestarter blog.