Monday, February 15, 2016
The camel rises, all angles and cantilevering of long bone after long bone. Craning his neck he looks around and stretches. Long and tall or short and squat each living being naturally stretches, moving from platform to platform—earth to air, belly to legs. Yawn. Stretch. Awaken. Focus. The dimmed world of sleep and the sadness or spookiness of dreams burn away under the throb of sun overhead; and the body and mind rearrange themselves, open their doors and windows to let in the sensations of the day and attend to other beings in their surround.
Awakening slowly, delicately, diligently moving the articulate joints, flexing the feet, stretching out the increasingly arthritic fingers feels better than bolting out of bed, alert and anxious with anticipation for the demands of the day ahead. Awakening as if this were the only moment takes practice. As if. As if no future called like a bird outside the window heralding whatever comes. As if no outfitting for a big responsibility need take place.
In child summers days stretched long, like beings themselves, and I remember awakening with excitement, wondering what the day would bring, as if every day were Christmas and gifts lay ahead, the second I bounced out the door of the house. Maybe tadpoles near the pond, maybe neighbors out and about, maybe the building of a fort or a tree house or picking apples from the next door orchard; maybe later in summer, blowing sylph-like seeds from milkweed pods that stood tall in the marshes at the end of the road, holding our wishes captive until that very moment when seeds fluffed and spun toward the sky.
Most days awakening and anticipation lie next to each other in my morning bed, sharing a pillow. The trick: to welcome the anticipated responsibility with open arms, as if “she” were a bride. Play the fanfare, smile and clap and sing. Whatever comes, let me be of good service to it. Let me host the future hours like the most welcomed of guests. And let my curiosity lead like an outstretched hand, open and ready to take hold.
Guest saddle: What draws your anxiety upon awakening? Is there another way to welcome what meets you on the road ahead? What lovely features, or challenges can you greet with curiosity, with respect, and with diligence?