There’s something about early mornings when the sky is still grey and the house is silent, like the pause after an indrawn breath.
There’s no one banging about in the bathroom in a rush to get to uni or appointments. No tinkling of plates and cutlery in the kitchen or the dinging of appliances signaling that someone’s breakfast is ready, or their lunch reheated. No one shouting down the hallway to please fetch their mobile or keys, no rumble of car engines in the garage. There is none of the usual early morning bustle, and it’s glorious.
My first order of business is to make a cup of tea. The gentle aroma of tea leaves–oolong one day, genmaicha the next, perhaps a flavoured black the day after that–lulls me into a sense that the world and its attendant problems are nothing more than trailing wisps of a bad dream. Together with my fuzzy robe, the warm mug between my hands wards off the early morning autumn chill as I sit at the kitchen counter .
Sometimes, my cat Ducati will join me. He’s quickly learned that no matter how much he asks, he won’t get fed until 7am. So he’ll curl up on the bar stool beside me in silent companionship, one that stretches across both of the little worlds we’re lost in. From time to time he’ll use the edge of the armrest to stand, and nuzzle my face to remind me he’s still there (and, I suspect, that he still needs to be fed).
The early morning is the perfect time to spend time with my God, to mull over the day to come, to brainstorm where my latest novel’s going next. It’s a piece of deliberately recaptured time where my thoughts aren’t pressed or shaped by people or expectations. It’s when, more than any other time, I’m the purest form of Leanne.
I know my time’s up when I start hearing the first signs of activity–a bedroom door opening, a toilet flushing. There’s always a sense of disappointment, a longing for this time to stretch on forever. And yet I’m also grateful for the reminder that I’m not alone, that my family is all around me and we’re facing the rapid return of reality together.
John Donne once said that no man is an island. I don’t doubt the truth of that. But it sure doesn’t hurt to drift off on your own for a brief hour or two each day.
Leanne Yong is an aspiring Aussie author who is working on her second young adult novel. Check out her blog at Clouded Memories for more information and a journal chronicling her latest foray into novel writing.