The early morning summertime light comes bursting into the windows and streaming across the hall. I peel myself out from underneath sticky baby legs and arms - wrapped and stuck together like a pretzel - just as quietly as I can, tiptoeing around the spots in the floorboards I know will otherwise creak to wake my baby, and alter my morning plan.
Looking across the hall as I slip downstairs, I smile at the empty beds, remembering their excitement in backyard tent sleeping last night with fireflies, flashlights, and baseball games buzzing well into the dark.
Before tea, before anyone else is woken by me and asking anything of me...I slip out the door. It's so early, and the sun is so bright, the air already thickening. It's going to be warm today.
But for now, it's light enough and cool enough to slowly and quietly work. Diapers go on the line. I let the squawking chickens out of their coop, saving the rest of the morning animal chores for later. I check on the garden, pulling some weeds around the beans. Slowly, quietly, and completely - without anyone to ask a question or bring my attention anywhere but here and now.
Maybe it's only twenty minutes, a half an hour at best. First, I hear the zipper on the tent opening and two groggy, but happy children pouring out. Then from inside I hear the beginnings of breakfast with a tea kettle and a squeaky baby. And headed towards me on a bicycle next comes my little guy with a proper "Mornin' Mama! Watch this!"
And the rest of the day begins.
Today will be warm. Too warm to do too much work, I think. But still, there will be (many) animals to feed and water and care for, and (many) children too. This afternoon, we host a gathering of family - a celebration we're all looking forward to - and there is much to do before everyone arrives. This will be a busy day, a full one.
These early summer morning moments feel a bit like a prayer that I want to carry with me through the rest of my day. A quiet, still and peaceful prayer for gentleness to follow all the day long.