One way I’m living more poetically this year is by being more present. On the second Wednesday of each month this year, I plan to write about a simple way to be more mindful. We all have certain rituals we perform every day whether we pay attention to them or not. We can elevate these little acts into meaningful rituals that help us be more present. My first ritual of the day is what I refer to as waking up the house.
January is a perfect month to be more aware of the blessing of having a place to call home, no matter how humble. If we are lucky enough to have a roof over our heads, we can be grateful to have somewhere safe to live that protects us from winter’s cold, snow, wind and rain.
Every morning, before the sun rises, I get out of my warm, cozy bed and slide open the curtains that cover our bedroom picture window. I do this gently so I don’t startle myself or any critters that might be visiting the large birdbath just outside the window. More than once there has been a deer staring at me eye-to-eye. I take a deep breath and look out the window with a nod to the new day and take note of what the weather is up to at that moment. (In January, I always wish for snow!)
The next happy part of my morning ritual is opening the bedroom door to see my nine-month-old kitty who comes flying through the house to greet me when he hears the curtains open. I reach down to the floor, sweep up Mr. Darcy and nuzzle my cheek into his soft golden fur. Holding him like a baby in one arm, I move through the house turning off the porch light, turning on the living room lamps, and opening the shutters. That’s usually when he hops out of my arms with a satisfying purr.
Especially in wintertime, I like to light a fragrant candle on the mantle. The flame flickers like a promise in the dawn light. Standing on the brick hearth, cold against my bare feet, I take a sweeping look around my home. While I don’t always say it out loud, I at least think, “Good morning, little house, thank you for keeping us safe last night.” By the time I head into the kitchen and find my husband sitting in the sunroom doing the crossword puzzle, I have had dozens of wonderful thoughts, any of which could be turned into a poem.
No matter where you live or what stage of life you are in, I encourage you to be aware of your own morning rituals, including all you do to wake up your house. Move through each ordinary action with awareness and gratitude. Like a poem, our rituals add structure, flow, rhythm and beauty to our life. There is poetry in being present. §
“Be where you are. Otherwise you will miss your life.”