looking through me

Tag: morning

fleeting beauty

In the stillness of dawn the thick crescent of a waning moon gleamed in the southern sky. Salmon pink streaks seeped through thin spots in slate-colored clouds to the east. And then they were gone, swallowed whole by gray.

My soul sagged. All week early morning fog shrouded the sunrise, but I thought today would be different. I thought today I would see the brilliance of daybreak. And I did. For fifteen seconds.

The wonder wasn’t minimized by its short duration. But too often I write off anything I can’t hold onto and return to time and again as unworthy of my attention, unworthy of my appreciation. I fail to see the value in the momentary. Yet . . .

Fleeting beauty is still beauty.

Twenty minutes later, I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic—still watching the sky. The muted palette hinted at the mystery above it. Gunmetal gray places wore an extra blanket of insulation. Other areas were already shedding their covers and lightening to soft, dove grays. I could almost feel the sun’s rays tearing away the layers. Filtered light flooded through as water molecules gave way to the strength of the sun.

There in the thin places—that had ever-so-briefly been pink—I saw how beauty often appears first in the places I perceive as being not ready for display, incomplete, not good enough, temporary or unfinished. Yet they transmit glory. It might only last a moment, but it is real and it is good.

Maybe it’s the fragile strength of vulnerability—not perfection—that creates a canvas worthy of the Artist’s best work. In the clouds . . . and in me.

 

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mondays

I love Mondays. Or rather, I love the rituals coursing through them.

Mondays are sheet days: as children, we didn’t have to make our beds because Mom washed all the sheets and made all our beds while we were at school. And, though I didn’t really mind making my bed, I knew it was a gift to get that one-day reprieve each and every week.

Those school days are long gone, but on Monday mornings—in my bleary-eyed state—I still leave my bed unmade. A subtle affront to the looming week.

Once home from work, I strip the bed and toss the sheets into the washer. After the dinner dishes are done, I pull hot sheets out of the dryer and delight in slipping into fresh-from-the-dryer pajamas.

Then I turn on music and snap clean sheets through the air, smiling as they parachute down to the mattress. I smooth out the wrinkles, tuck tight corners, fold the top sheet back over the blankets, heave the comforter over it all and plump the pillows.

As I sing along to the music I turn the covers back, so in a few hours I’ll feel like I’m sliding into a hotel bed.

And though the evening is young, I wash my face and choose my clothes and shoes for Tuesday. After every detail has been tended to—all the day’s tasks are completed—I make myself a cup of tea and settle in on the couch for a quiet evening of reading and maybe some writing.

They’re little rituals. But they’re laced with the joy of celebrating small moments and savoring simple pleasures—clean sheets, warm pajamas, carefully curated words to listen to, read and sometimes jot down myself.

Monday’s rhythms help me anchor to my past, relish the present and ease into tomorrow.

 

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