For week 2 of The Great Wake Up our challenge was to spend the first ten minutes of every day outside...
I loved this challenge! In fact, it didn't feel like a challenge at all, more like a treat...
Before the men come with white coats, let me put that in context. I LOVE early mornings - it's my favourite time of day, when everything is still and pregnant with promise. I love the birdsong, sunrise on dew and the way everything is almost a colour but not quite. And before you start thinking I live in a rural heaven, I don't. But I also love the occasional car moving purposefully in the pre-dawn and the way the street lights make everything just a little golden...
Busted, I'm a morning person... And there is nothing I like better than waking up pre-dawn and sitting in my swing (or in my kitchen with the door open if it's raining) and sipping a quiet cup of tea.
Dawn is my thinking time, when I can be reflective (but somehow never maudlin) and when I get my best ideas. So, yes, this week was a treat! It gave me time to think about some fantastic dawn memories of 2015, and at the end of it I have promised myself that I'm going to make more space for these special times in 2016. Some examples...
...waking up early and wandering downstairs to sit in the garden with a cup of tea and my cat (he loved to sit on the swing - with me or by himself - and would meow until I joined him)
...wandering downstairs in a dressing gown while my parents were visiting and sitting for hours drinking cups of tea and visiting while the sun rose. And being just as happy while we sat in silence as while we spoke - I always think the best relationships are the ones where you can be just as happy together in silence
...watching the birds bathe in my fountain and being thrilled because I'd chosen that fountain for just that reason and it worked!
...joining a dawn chorus walk at a local(ish) nature reserve and hearing the world wake up around me
...waking up one October morning and heading out with my camera to photograph the daybreak - and finding out how the world changes through a lens when you can focus on the beauty
...visiting with my parents in the US and (once again...) drinking tea while watching the sun rise over their garden - they have hummingbirds and the most amazing bright blue jays!
...driving north with the sunrise on New Year's Eve for a day out with my husband - his version of tough love to get me out of the house where everything reminds me of my cat, who I lost on 27 December. Somehow watching dawn breaking across the fields made it OK to be melancholy and hopeful at the same time and it was my first day with no tears
...and, each morning of this challenge, remembering Poohie, who is resting in the garden he loved and waiting there to share my mornings.