Looking up from my book, I watched a humming bird buzz the pool. A bright orange dragonfly darted after it. I listened to the quiet, a different quiet from a morning at home. No dog snoring gently, no cars on the street outside. The pool filter hummed on and off. Birds swooped and called as they dashed from fence post to cactus.
Still on East Coast time, I woke early in Tucson. While my friends still slept, I sat out on the patio in the still cool morning sipping coffee, reading a bit, daydreaming. It was delightful. It was restorative. And it wasn’t the best part of the weekend.
As the sun rose higher and the temps soared, my friends came out one by one. A short run. Some yoga. Some lazing. We each did our own thing before breakfast. I made the omelet. Aimee started the bacon. Jen flipped pancakes. Heather and Jemma carried plates and silverware out to the shaded seats on the patio.
I met these women 21 years ago, give or take a couple of weeks, when luck put us in the same dorm during our first year of college. I saw two of these women briefly last year after a long hiatus, but the other two? It’s been nine years in one case, eleven in the other. And in all cases, it’s been no time. Old friends are like that.
We settled into conversations that were years of catching up without feeling like recap. We talked relationships and kids and work. We remembered who we were and figured out who we are.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip all summer, because I needed a break and I was excited to see these friends. I didn’t realize how much I needed to see them.
Being with old friends reconnected me to parts of myself that I had forgotten. I came back refreshed from a full night’s sleep and the quiet mornings by the pool. I came back refilled from the conversations poolside and around the dinner table. I came back refilled by laughter and hugs and knowing these people know me, the Sara I was 20+ years ago, the Sara I’ve been since, the Sara I am now.
Reconnect with an old friend today. Call them, message them, write them. Reconnect with an old friend and see what else you connect with.
It was quiet, except for the exuberant calls of birds I can’t name. I sipped my coffee, tried to settle back into a writing rhythm after a busy week way. It lasted about 20 minutes before a little face peeked over the railing.
“Hi, Mom! Morning story!”
My little girl’s red head nestled against me as she snuggled in, smiling behind the thumb in her mouth. I smiled back and started reading the Ladybug magazine she had handed me. When the last story mentioned morning glories, I suggested we go see if ours were blooming.
She dropped blankie. I picked up my coffee mug, and we stepped out into the dew-wet grass. We walked up the hill together, hand-in-hand. I showed her the vine climbing the red pole and the faded flower from two days ago. I pointed out the twists that would soon open their faces and throats to the sun.
Not impressed, she called “I’m going on the trapeze bar” as she ran down that path between the gardens. I pulled some weeds, surveyed the mess, sipped my coffee. I stopped to watch the bees hovering over the poppies and buzz-loving the cilantro gone to flower.
Then I followed her back to the house to make breakfast to eat on the porch. This is what I want from summer.
We have a list of things we want to do—a visit to Story Land, a camping trip—and little things to do spur of the moment some day—local hiking, the swimming hole, soft serve ice cream. I want to do these things, many of them things that make summer summer, but more than that I want the feel of yesterday morning when we moved slow and let the morning unfold, reading, snuggling, pulling weeds in our pjs.
Today my kids were turning themselves into superheros with masks and play silks and capes from the dress up box. My nails were black; my feet speckled with dirt. I wasn’t worried about the next thing on my list or what was for lunch or catching up after vacation.
As I rounded the corner with a wheelbarrow full of weeds, the bright blue trumpet of a morning glory stopped me. The sun was trying to burn through the haze leaving a gray, hot stickiness. My garden was so overrun with weeds I didn’t know where to start. And this one flower stopped me, reminded me.
Part of me still expects summer to be the wide-open stretch of time it was when I was a kid, though it’s been years and years since I’ve had a summer off. But I still try to find pockets of lazy, unscheduled time.
What does summer mean to you? What does the reality of summer look like. Tell me about your summer morning and something that made you stop and notice today.
When I started getting up early, I’d come down to the golden-pink glow of sunrise, but now when I wake up, it’s still black-gray. The house is cold, my bed so cozy. I don’t always want to get up, but most mornings I do.
I’m over on the Abundant Mama blog talking about why I wake early and the magic of early morning me time. Check it out and let me know why you do—or don’t—rise early.
Right now I’m loving this cool, dry air after a few sticky, icky days and the return of energy that comes with this cool weather.
I’m loving the urge to bake and the cinnamon-coconut-almond smell wafting out of my oven with this morning’s batch of granola. I’m loving the crisp gingersnaps I baked yesterday—and the homemade ice cream sandwiches I made with them and peach ice cream.
I’m still loving my early morning time, both the quiet and focus itself, and the calm it brings to the start of my day—even when one little one wakes up with wet undies and the other rages that she is too tired to get out of bed. I handle this so much better after a few minutes to myself, a chance to pee and brush my teeth, a cup of coffee.
I’m loving my new writing notebook—and the hour I spent yesterday with my art-loving girl doing collage. I’m loving the memory of making a collage notebook with my friend Kate years ago that cascaded into a string of other memories of lazy-productive weekends spent marbling boxes and constructing jewelry holders, taking a glass fusing glass, baking dozens of cookies on a snowbound afternoon, stirring jam on a steamy summer afternoon in my old apartment.
Writing prompt for Monday
Think about a person you’ve known for a long time. List memories you have of being with that person. What places does that take you to? what stages of your life? Who are you with this person? Has that changed over time or does being with them bring out a certain part of you?
What are you loving right now?
Write What You Love starts next week! You can sign up here—it’s free.