Sunday, 16 October 2016

A Moment of Calm





The light is luminous at the moment. There are still enough hours of daylight in each day to keep everyone happy, but it's taking on that softer, more golden tone, and I'm conscious that the clocks go back in a couple of weeks. Our typical Sunday afternoon woodland walks have been either bathed in deep sunshine, making every colour look as heavy and saturated as it can be, or lit by dramatic combinations of showers and rainbows, bright wet leaves against slate grey skies.


Sunsets and sunrises have been dramatic and colourful and I've been taking the time to stop and notice them. Every weekday morning I have the same routine. I get up, anywhere between six and six thirty, and go downstairs to make myself a cup of hot water and lemon. I drink it standing up in the kitchen, leaning against the worktop, while I look at my phone. I deliberately leave it downstairs every night and never take it to bed with me - it's about the only good smart phone habit I have - so each morning I have a little catch up with Facebook, Instagram, emails before everyone and everything else needs my attention. John has left for work by this point and the children are still asleep, so the house is completely silent. It's my little moment of calm and I value it very highly. Lately, I have been treated to the most breathtaking sunrises from our north-east facing kitchen window and I like to linger and look at them while I wake up. But every day it's getting a little darker and next week, I'll miss those later sunrises. I'll be upstairs, rushing around, getting dressed, hustling the children, making beds. Then when I'm back in the kitchen, I won't be staring out of the window daydreaming, I'll be emptying the dishwasher, making breakfast, supervising the brushing of teeth.

So I've been savouring these morning displays of light and colour in the sky as I drink my drink and gather my thoughts. They set me up for the day. 

Do you do something similar? Do you have your own small moment of peace or solitude at some point during the day? I'd love to know. 


19 comments:

Jennifer Hays said...

Beautiful photos, Gillian. I often have that kind of time for myself in the early evening, after I've gotten my daughter to bed. My son is still up, but he's usually doing math with his dad so I have a little while free while they do that. I think we need this kind of time in our day to regroup and feel settled. I actually plan to write about something similar soon, maybe later today. We're on the same wavelength. :)

CJ said...

Yes, I'm an early riser, usually between 5.30 and 6.30 and I come downstairs and have a mug of herbal tea, ginger at the moment, and some peaceful time before everyone else descends. Blissful isn't it. CJ xx

Angel Jem said...

Funnily, I used to get the later sunrises as my treat... when everybody was off to school and there was only me in the house. No longer, since I became an office Ninja. I have no time to stand and stare....

cassie said...

I try to get up before everyone else too and enjoy a cup of jasmine tea in silence while I catch up on the news and whatever else is happening on my phone. So often lately I notice a wisp of pink clouds through the window and want to grab my camera but then someone needs breakfast or something and when I next have a moment the pink has vanished. You're lucky to have captured so many! So beautiful.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Gorgeous photos! My youngest boy went off to college this year so I no longer have children at home. No more rushed mornings in school traffic. I still get up early. And love nothing more than the simple sounds of morning starting all around me, birds chirping, cars starting as they head out for the day. The tip tapping of my fingers on the keyboard as I catch up with blog friends. Coffee within arm's reach. Have a good week.

Librarian said...

These are great pictures, Gillian, and I love the idea of you and your family going for Sunday afternoon woodland walks together. My parents did that with us when we were children, too, and it is the best any parent can do - take your kids out and show them nature.

As I live on my own, I have as many quiet moments as I like. But of course I go to work and there, it isn't always so quiet :-) Therefore, my mornings are deliberately long; I usually get up 1 1/2 or 2 hours before leaving the house, so that I can linger over blogs and emails while having my morning coffee.

Gracie Saylor said...

Your routine reminds me of mine in the Fall when I was a teaching assistant in an elementary school. I woke up early, sometimes complaining to God or at best thanking Him for the day as I donned a sweatsuit, walked to the kitchen, squeezed the juice of half a lemon into a glass of water, then drank the lemon water while standing in the kitchen looking out the east window at the peaceful Hudson River in upstate NY as the sun often made the sky alight with strands of cotton candy pink and yellow clouds. I often dashed out the door for a quick hilly neighborhood walk, noting the trees changing their seasonal costumes, enjoying cool fresh air, and the birdsongs celebrating another day. Back in the house I tried to spend a few minutes reading the day's One Year Bible selections and praying before the rush of showering and dressing for work while assisting four children and a husband launch into their day. I especially remember the first part of that calm routine with fondness. [ Of course this routine happened in the Dark Age before cell phones and Google and emails and blogs and such! ] Now while I still spend quiet pockets of time talking to God...and pondering what He is saying to me, while inside my home or out admiring His creation, my days are much less routine, and much more spontaneous...but I really should be aiming to drink lemon water regularly again. xx

Sarah said...

Yes, we had all the weather in one day yesterday. Warm sunshine, a heavy downpour, a rainbow, more sunshine and finally a soft and rosy sunset. My kitchen Windows face east and south so I too find myself propping up the kitchen worktop drinking that first cup of tea and watching the sky for the weather ahead.

Cecily Graham said...

What beautiful photos. Yes, I try to build lots of little moments of calm into my days, but the one I love most is when the children have gone to school and I head out into the garden. I always spend the first ten minutes just looking at everything with a cup of tea, before settling down to some task or other with the chickens pecking around me and the birds singing in the trees. Whatever the weather, this short time outside in the quiet is worth its weight in gold.

Vikki said...

I just found your blog and had to look to see where you are located. I could have sworn the pictures were taken where I live---on the Oregon Coast, U.S.A. We are always told we look like parts of England, and I'm happy to see that is true. It's a small world......
Now that I'm retired and all my children are grown and gone, I miss those hectic mornings. Enjoy every minute of it; they pass very quickly.

Jo said...

Hi Gillian. My evenings are when I have thinking time. Mornings are just too busy and if I got up earlier (which I tried) the children just got up earlier and the morning jobs just took twice as long to fill the time. So when the children are in bed, I do what I want in the quietness of the house winding down for bed. We have been spoilt with Sunday afternoon weather haven't we. Jo x

Anonymous said...

I'd love to be a natural early riser but I'm often too bleary-eyed first thing to feel anything but knackered! My calm time is after I've done the school train run and walked the dog. I come home, clear the kitchen and put the coffee on. I'll often take a moment then to look out to sea. Have a good week, Gillian. Only four more days until half term :-) Sam x

AnnieOBTextiles said...

The light (and your photos) is magical at the moment. There was a double rainbow across the sky this afternoon as I came out of the chemist, which was a delight. Early morning physio and yoga exercise is my quiet time and the day never seems so smooth if it doesn't happen. I hope there are a few more sunrises for you to enjoy before the days shorten further.

Susan Smith said...

Beautiful photos and I love the words to go with them. I'm already missing our walks in the UK and wish we had the same on our doorstep here. Must do some blog posts soon, now that our internet is back up and running properly. Take care.

Lisa said...

A handful of shiny conkers, what a happy photo.
Lisa x

mrsrobinson said...

Beautiful photographs... The adult me has been surprised by how much I enjoy the peace of an early morning, though I always have company as P is an early riser. We have a mile walk through quite Suffolk countryside to school, and it is looking gorgeous this autumn. I love the constant chatter with P on our way to school, and the peaceful moments on my walk home again. Happily scarves are now needed!

Anonymous said...

The acid in hot water and lemon is extremely bad for the enamel on your teeth.

rachel said...

Lately its a 10 minutes when hubby is taking smallest to school and eldest has left for college. If I'm lucky I will have been bought cup of tea to drink in bed and I enjoy the peace that comes with having nothing to /do/ for the first time in years!!

Winwick Mum said...

Your photos are beautiful as always - and they show just what a variety of skies we have! It's lovely to have those moments xx