Morning Moments


It’s 6:00 am, my favourite time of day. Much of the world is still asleep and I am swathed in a blanket of silence.  I’m comfortable with it; in fact I welcome it.

Many people experience the world through their eyes and notice a million little details that escape me. But I notice the sound track to life:  the car with the bad muffler rumbling down the street as I headed to my new job, the tone of my daughter’s voice when she tried to convince herself she was fine with her partner going on a weekend get-away without her; a colleague’s cell phone chiming in her office while she was  being raked over the coals by our boss.

 I’m sometimes overwhelmed by the noise in our busy, fast-paced world so I embrace what I call my “morning moments”. When my husband gets up, he will turn the radio on. I’m so tired of hearing about COVID on the news.  I’m tired of hearing the numbers of cases, deaths, intensive care admissions. But mostly, I hate what COVID is doing to people – and by that I don’t mean making them sick. I mean that it’s turning them into bitter, angry people regardless of which side of the vaccine fence they are on.  But that is a whole other post for another day.  Because right now I want to enjoy the calm.

I pour coffee and the hot liquid makes a sloshing sound in my cup just as the fridge compressor starts its low humming. I like these ordinary noises that often go unnoticed; they are part of the familiar rhythm of a new day.  I set my cup on the table and tug on the handle of the patio door. It glides smoothly open on its metal tracks, letting the cool morning air and a medley of sounds rush in.

I know the song of the cardinal, blue jay and a few other species. But I don’t recognize the early birds I hear today and I wonder what they are. A light breeze rises and gently rustles the leaves on the trees.  They have already started to turn from emerald green to scarlet and gold. Somewhere, high in one of those trees, a squirrel is loudly protesting something.

Daylight is leaking into the  blackness, and slowly, the world around me is beginning to stir. In the distance, a dog is barking and a car engine starts.  From the bedroom, I hear Ben’s feet hit the floor.  My morning moments are over for today, but I have a date with them again at 6 am tomorrow.

Moments that make up a life

Quebec is on lockdown again as the second wave of the virus sweeps through our province. That means we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving with our adult kids, visit my elderly mother or see our friends. But we decided to have our turkey dinner anyway (yes, we will be eating leftovers for days) to celebrate going through this unprecedented time together. Our future wasn’t always a given.

We came together as a blended family when our kids were four and six respectively. Anyone who is part of a blended family knows that it’s hard. It comes with its own set of challenges that we didn’t see for the rose-coloured glasses. For those considering embarking on this journey, I would say:  Go for it. But just know that there will be times of heartbreak as well as times of great reward. We weren’t always sure we would make it. But we did. And we’re grateful for that and for the little moments of deep contentment that now make up a shared life.

It’s those small moments in a day like having someone to say “Good morning” to or to ask the mundane question “What do you want for dinner?”.  It’s being able to watch television in the evenings in different rooms (he likes sports and I like the Gilmore Girls on Netflix) knowing there is a comforting presence nearby.

Ben has been working from home for over a decade. So in the early days of the pandemic when I started to work from home, I was afraid the enforced togetherness would drive us crazy.  But we fell easily and naturally into a new, companionable routine. Both those words – companionable and routine – sound staid and boring. But they also sound steady and sure. It feels a little like having both our hands on the wheel, steering in the same direction. Occasionally, there is a minor dispute about that direction. And, if I am honest, occasionally there is a not-so-minor dispute. The important thing is that, so far, we have been able to agree on where we are going and get back on a shared path.

So tonight we’ll raise our glasses to that and to the things we have instead of focusing on the things we have lost, at least temporarily, to the virus. And we will toast to the specter of better days ahead. Happy Thanksgiving Canada.