My eyes shot open. I looked around the room. “What in the world was that sound?” I quickly jump out of the recliner where I had fallen asleep last night. My heart pounding in my chest, my eyes not quite focusing yet. I quick go to check on Brad. He’s totally fine, snoring away. Next stop – Mom’s room. She was sound asleep as well.
And there on the couch, where I cuddled her to sleep, was Emma sleeping soundly. She had some trouble settling down at bedtime, so I put on some guided meditation, cuddled her close, and off to dreamland she went. Hence, the reason I was sleeping in a “not so comfy” recliner, in the living room of my mom’s country house.
Anyway, back to the sound….Yeah, never did figure out where the sound came from. Maybe it was all in my dreams! Those dreams that were long gone. I tried and tried and tried to get myself back to sleep. I cuddled up with my blanket in the chair. Couldn’t get comfortable. I tried to snuggle up on the other couch – that didn’t work either. Why oh why didn’t I just go lay down in the bedroom?!
While making one last attempt at sleep, I turned on my side, and caught a glimpse of the lake through the window. The sky was just starting to lighten a teeny tiny bit. It made me think about watching sunrises with my dad when I was little. And there it was, my sign. I got up, went into the bedroom and put on my sweatpants, sweatshirt, and socks (5am and 55 degrees on this July morning). I made a nice hot cup of coffee, and tip toed out to the back porch. While everyone was still sleeping inside, the world was just waking up outside.
I sat and sat and sat, taking it all in – sipping my coffee. I looked, listened, felt, and just breathed. The birds were singing their morning tunes. So many different songs. The fish were popping in and out of the water, leaving rings on the water’s surface. The fog was floating slowly over the water. Right before my eyes, the world was slowly saying “good morning.” It was peaceful and calm – pure bliss.
For a second, I thought about how tired I was going to be later, but just pushed that thought aside. I just sat there looking out at the water, listening to the sounds, watching the sky change colors, and all I could feel was gratitude in my heart. I was grateful for whatever woke me up. Grateful for the peace and quiet I got to experience on this chilly early morning. Grateful for being able to realize the benefits of being up so early and for taking the time to “stop and smell the roses.” Grateful for my dad waking me up on beach vacations when I was little to see the sunrise – I totally get it now, but hated it as a kid. Grateful for letting myself be present in the moment!
And then, my silence was broken by teeny knocks on the window. Yup, there was Emma, smiling with a blanket wrapped around her. I glanced down at my phone to check the time. It was 5:45am and she was wide awake. I helped her put on sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and together we sat and watched the sun peek up over the hills. Her first sunrise!
“Oh my goodness Momma – it’s so so so beautiful,” she said with a huge smile on her face.
I hugged her close and said, “Yes, baby it sure is.”
And there we sat, cuddled up on that chilly July morning. Her eyes sparkling with excitement, and me filled with gratitude for all the blessings in my life. A memory I will cherish forever!
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