“Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.” ― Horace
My son wakes me up every morning. Normally sleeping beside me, it is his smile that I rise to. This is the energy I wake up with each day.
But the morning holds a magic far beyond what most may realize.
Mornings are our most palpable time, particularly just before and during the sunrise. It is during this primordial moment when one can feel the energy of the day rising and warming. This is what beginning feels like.
This is the sphere of becoming anew.
Just as children stand and take their first steps, we relive this moment every day. The morning begs our first steps toward mindfulness.
The subtle sounds of the day are just beginning to stir louder. The rising sun gives dramatic flair to the colors that blanket the landscape, brightening trees to a richness of lush green. Flowers open their petals. The morning light reflects and partially reveals the nearly invisible structure of a spider web suspended high between two water oaks. Dew drops from the leaves above as though giving the ground beneath it a refreshing morning drink.
Even the air smells and tastes different in the morning, the pleasant scent of now. The new morning freshness instills the air with a beginning, while its winds blow aloft with a nostalgic petrichor. You’d think one could sit and be born again, innocent to the world, just by engaging with the morning and all of its magic.
And, in fact I believe we can.
In our short lives we have so much going on that it may seem hard to keep up with life itself at times. And with the amount of audacious hubris that suffocates us at every turn, taking time to greet the day gracefully is perhaps our first glimpse of mindful awareness.
Our simple beginnings are the first steps along the path to peace within.
I remember the weeks prior to 6th grade. Living in a new neighborhood I’d learned that the school bus ran dry-runs to alert the residents to new bus stops, and pick up times. It was on an early morning I sat and waited to see where the bus would stop when I watched the sunrise and felt the morning magic for the first time that I can remember.
Though this moment came and passed quickly, I still have that picture ingrained in my mind of the morning as described in the beginning of this post. It was a perfect, quiet moment nearly suspended in time for me to recall. It was this moment when I could feel the beginning of something, though I was too young to understand what it was then.
This life begs us to listen closely to the small things that hide among us. Our mornings can come and go without so much as a fleeting glance should we allow it. Or they can be the ushers of our day, escorting us towards a more engaging, graceful experience of our lives.
This is the first step of mindfulness.
These moments that begin our day do truly impart the energy that we will carry with us throughout it. It is up to us to capture these moments and to be mindful of the presence—the gift—that they bring to us every single day.
It is a long road between birth and when we depart this Earthly place. Being able to resign ourselves to the mornings of life is but a small beginning to true, unconditional gratefulness for all that we are given, to a morning that may last the rest of our lives.
I’ve personally never been the quintessential morning person, but the mornings that I do capture are bound as an invisible thread that creates the binding of my life.
Just as the sun rises and sets, so do our pathways and our beginnings.
Take the first step onto the path of mindful attention.
It is here, at the beginning, where we become grateful.
And it is here where we become louder than the noise that surrounds our lives.