Early mornings. I want to say a few words about “early mornings.”

There are early mornings that I wake up full of worry. Worry about my partner, four hundred miles away on the Texas Gulf Coast, who just slept through his second night in below freezing temps. Worry about my elderly mother, down the road from me here in Plano, Texas, who will soon wake up to her third day without heat in even colder temps and her 343rd day on COVID lockdown in her assisted living community. Worry about my sister who has her own list of struggles and my friends and other family members who I have watched fade in and out these past eleven months. Swinging between strength and despair, strength and despair, strength and despair. I worry about myself. Am I eating too much, drinking too much, numbing too much. Will I make it financially? Will I write the book?

This morning is one of those early mornings. Was one of those early mornings.

But then,  I caught the tail end of a fresh breath.  I heard the contentment of my old shelter dog’s snore. I felt the presence of being present. Here. Now. For this day.

And I closed my eyes again. Not to escape, but to ground.

I remembered who I am. Where I am.

I remembered that I am but one of 6.3 million people and who knows how many snoring dogs and shivering trees waking up in the DFW Metroplex today. One of 29.4 Texans, 331 million Americans, and 7.8 billions humans who, today at least, call this 4.5 billion year old planet home. A planet that is but one of eight in our solar system which, itself, may be one of up to 100 billion solar systems.

And that’s just in our galaxy. “Our.” The one we wake up to, wake up in, each of us, every day. So far.

Somehow, the further I pan out from this warm bed but cool room of this old house in Plano, Texas; the farther I look beyond this perfectly normal, perfectly singular life that I call my own; the more my worry starts to let go.

I

am

not

alone.

None of us are. Because even if we don’t know each other, we are waking up with each other (well, not in the Biblical sense, not together at least!).  And there is a strength in that together. One that is more resilient and tested and, yes, present than the biggest worry.  It is the strength of being alive. In the still dark, but soon light, possibility of the early morning.

As I open my eyes, I am reminded that the possibility of the early morning, of the day, of the night, is guided both by what my mind can fathom and only my heart can know.  That dancing around this Earth, watching across this galaxy (and that one and that one) are ancestors and spirits and energies and pure consciousness…all pulling for me, inviting me to keep some perspective, walk a little lighter.

And I remember the words of Mary Oliver, always a good friend in the early morning hours.  Words to close with here because, really, what else is there after Mary Oliver:

Is it true that the wind streaming…is saying nothing, nothing at all, or is it that I just don’t yet know the language?

Good morning to you. May you have a wonder-full day, with at least a few moments spent learning the eternal language that lives on, always, beyond the day’s worries.  Just, please, don’t wake my dog!

This-n-That is just that (and this!): A collection of words that don’t fit elsewhere, but that I still want to share.