The morning after a family birthday. Only the alarm beckons consciousness----a sharp ringing nearby that my brain quickly develops a story around. Because now, it's the ringing of a shop-keeper; my dream-soaked self glancing up at the clock on the wall of a dreamy urban apothecary, wondering why they chose such an irritating chime. I'm too engrossed in the beautifully back-lit jars to heed the annoying ringing nearby. But alas, the ringing continues and with a wink of one eye I'm drawn into the morning by the blurry red numbers, like two red eyes of a morning dragon.
Last night's Thai food smells still fill the air. This lingering scent is a bit odd for the morning but still pleasant, a small gift of recollection.
A pair of lounge pants sit crumpled by the bed and I pull them on leg by leg. My ever present old cat is curled up in the highest rent space of the bed and snoring peacefully. Ah, the life of a cat.
Because of spring's increasing presence, I find another bug in the bathroom. This time, it's a black stink bug walking lock-step across the linoleum floor. I never noticed how oddly similar their movements are to a bear's, or at least what we as children used to think was the "bear crawl." The bug is released into the cold morning outside-----a morning of unusually overcast grayness.
In the kitchen, far too many dishes are still spread over the counter and the dishwasher is full of clean dishes to put away this morning. One plate reluctantly still holds the burnished grains of rice from last night's curry. It's all dried up but still glistening. Not very appetizing now, however.
Kids come pouring out of their room, their own little toga blankets wrapped around them. They sit in their morning daze at the kitchen table, waiting expectantly. Ah, the life of a child. Cereal is poured, milk over-fills a bowl (an unexpected treasure for a cat later) and muffled munching fills the kitchen. Our pug dog quickly finds a spare bit of blanket on the floor and wraps his chubbiness into a ball and soon is snoring. Ah, the life of a dog.
I go about filling the compartments of lunch. It's a routine that brings on my day----my first need for contemplation but not too intricate, a slow progression into the day.
The morning routine quickly picks up pace as the hands of the clock reach upwards calling for children to pull on clothes, de-snaggle hair, and brush teeth. The usual monologue: "No, not that..." "But my favorite pants are dirty!" "Did you brush your teeth?...." After checking them, "Go do it again" "Ack, your hair has a big knot in the back...." "OUCH!"...
And onward until we all leave like a swirling tornado of backpacks, lunches, coats, hats, mittens, last-minute running back in for books, fighting over tangled belongings in the backseat... But soon the van pulls onto the road, a book on CD playing, a son knitting, a daughter drawing, and into the world we go...