Monday, June 26, 2006

"Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning..."

As much as I admire people who wake up full of energy and rarin' to meet the day, I've never been one of them. Mornings and I have always been just a little bit at odds.

Part of that, I'm sure, is a direct result of loving to read so much that I can't make myself put the book down in time to get all the sleep I need. Another part comes from love, too, love of this "nest" I've made for myself. It's nothing fancy, but I hate to leave it to go to work each day. I hate the rushing around to get ready for work, and I hate the inevitable morning traffic. I'd prefer just to cuddle my dogs and ease gently into the day.

I drive home from work on the interstate, but post-Katrina traffic makes it impossible to make the necessary left turn to go that way in the morning. Instead, I take a back road, a little two-lane country road that winds along the banks of a canal. The parish I live in (if you remember your geography lessons, you know that Louisiana is the only state that has parishes instead of counties) hasn't had much in the way of zoning ordinances until the past 15 or 20 years, so this little road takes me past beautiful new homes, tumbledown shacks, industrial sites, a baseball park, a cemetery, a golf course, a falling-down trailer with rusty old cars and trash all over the yard, a well-kept stable, and one bar whose name was painted on the front in the handwriting of its owner. Scattered throughout this hodge-podge of manmade structures are patches of natural beauty.

I never look forward to my drive to work, but once I've turned off the main road and onto this one, it gets better. I know every little twist and turn this road makes. I know where I'll see the goats on the far side of the canal and where the geese will be gathered, and I know there are a few places where the early morning light will shine so beautifully through the trees that I'll be glad to be awake in spite of my grumpy self. It's that glorious light, more than anything else, that pulls me out of a sleepy fog and helps me make peace with the morning.

Morning Has Broken

Morning has broken like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird,
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning,
Praise for the springing fresh from the world.

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall on the first grass,
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning,
Born of the one light Eden saw play,
Praise with elation, praise every morning,
God's recreation of the new day.

As sung by Cat Stevens,
(Lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon)


  1. Velvet, your nest is lined so
    nicely with green trees and streams and even Mr. Peacock. It sure looks like paradise.

    When I think "Louisiana" I think of
    sweating and heat, heat, heat. Is it like that or am I mixed up? Yesterday it was in the middle 80s here. It is cooler than this in N.W. AR where Patsy roosts on Chicken Ridge. But usually, our summer days are in the low to mid 90s.

    Everyone should have that special place to return home too. It makes life worth living. I hurry to work each morning as I am a morning person...but I hurry home each afternoon anixous to see Galla Farm once again.

    One thing I love in the morning is good coffee ...about 3 cups. The Sisters mother allowed us to drink coffee in the morn. We had it with that huge breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy, and oatmeal too. We were too pour to have orange I guess Mom just let us have coffee. Sometimes she made cocoa...the good kind out of all milk.

    See you soon.

  2. What a nice way to drive to work!

  3. I am truly a morning person...awake at the first hint of dawn. When I was a child I was too excited to stay in bed, always afraid I might miss something. On Sunday mornings I would sneak out before anyone else was awake to bring in the paper and giggle over the funnies.

    The rest of my family did not share my enthusiasm. At best I was glared at as I chattered over breakfast. At worst, toast was thrown at me by my siblings when our parents weren't looking.

    Thanks for reminding me of 'Morning has Broken' will be humming in my head the rest of the day!


  4. this is sweet sister's daughter. i called her one morning before she went to work -- she had had a whole pot of coffee!! "i'm working on my second pot -- your father's not awake yet - he will never know." i'm flexible. i can do mornings or nights but mornings are more productive.

  5. Velvet....poor little Erin works from 7 at night until 7 in the morning every weekend. She gets one weekend off a year. She has to sleep in the daytime. I could
    never make it...this might be a good job for would you
    like it?

  6. Everything you said today is the same for me. Once in a great while I see morning in the very early hours and I love it and wonder why I had to be born a night owl. Reading is the very reason I can't lie down at night to sleep and can't get up in the morning. Isn't it a shame that Cat Stevens can't return to the U. S. to give a concert? He is considered a threat to the safety of Americans and maybe he is associated with terrorists but I remember all his songs as though he sang them yesterday (and he did here on my CD.)

  7. I worked the early shift at tyson for many years and walked around in a fog until 12 o'clock but the last 6 years i worked the 2nd shift and never had a better work time. I wish had went on 2nd shift years before I like to go to bed about 1 o'clock and get up when I feel like it and when I say up I mean from bed to the computer after getting a cup of coffee. Your pictures are great this time every thing looks so green and fresh.

  8. glorious light indeed! That second photo took my breath away. Since I woke up late and couldn't get my normal early a.m. dose of light and inspiration, I've been a bit of a grump all day. But seeing those trees just now, well the smile has returned.

    My blog was the first? Odd thing to read.

  9. Sweet Sister: Your reference to "heat, heat, heat" in Louisiana is exactly right, but I try to do everything I can to avoid the sweating part. There are beautiful parts of Louisiana and other parts that haven't been kept up as well as they should have been--just like everywhere else, I'd imagine.

    Janet: It is a nice drive to work, but I the not-so-pretty drive home is the one I look forward to most.

    Carmon: I'd imagine the mornings are magnificent where you are. The "throwing toast" reference is funny--and I totally understand it.

    Erin: I don't drink coffee like your mom does, but I kick-start my mornings with carbonated caffeine (Diet Coke). Sounds like your work schedule requires a lot of stamina.

    Noel: We have so many things in common that I'm not a bit surprised about the sleeping habits. As for Cat Stevens, I miss him.

    Patsy: Second shift sounds perfect. My most productive time of the day is from right after lunch until six or seven p.m.

    Duly Inspired: I found your blog through a Google keyword search for the name of somebody I particularly admired. If you email me, I'll be happy to give you details.

  10. What wonderful photos and such an idyllic place Velvet. Was a pleasure to accompany you on your morning.

    I love that Cat Stevens song too, we have all his albums.
    I won't be popping in for a while as I'm off on a short vacation so take care and I'll catch up on your blog on my return.


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