Morning rituals

Roy once asked me why on earth I get up at 5:30am when I don’t start work until 7:45, and I only have a ten – fifteen minute commute.

I like easing into the morning I told him, I like a slow start so I can enjoy the peace and quiet that each morning has to offer, before the business and the chaos begins.

Morning is a time I savour, and it is a bit of a ritual.

Morning is a celebration if only because I woke up 🙂

I actively oppose religion because it is filled with superstitious beliefs and rituals that are designed to control and suppress people while making them believe they are being liberated and released. It’s a bizarre and offensive thing to me.

And by the same token, religious or not, our days are always filled with rituals.

Coffee, a morning ritual without which a morning is incomplete without.

A typical weekday morning for me starts with a shower, then moves downstairs to collect the newspaper from outside the front door. The coffee grinder is started and the cat’s dish picked up and put in the sink to clean. Into the pantry to fill the other cat’s dish and grab my lunch bag, then back out to the kitchen to foam the milk and put my latte together while Loki sits on the counter reaching for me and imploring me to hurry up with his meds and breakfast. Lunch is made, and then I can finally sit down in the silence with my newspaper and coffee while I listen that Kirk has woken up and made it to the shower to start his day. When he comes downstairs and turns on the tv for the morning news, it’s my cue to head back upstairs, get dressed, and put my makeup on.

Yes, it’s a routine, but some of that is also a bit of ritual. The difference between a routine and a ritual is not necessarily the action, but the attitude behind the action.

Getting up every morning, eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, and going to work is routine, and not really meaningful, so it seems like a chore. Rituals are generally perceived as having some sort of subjective meaning. Routines have minimal engagement, they are tedious and meaningless, we are only marginally aware of what we are doing and are somewhat disconnected while we simply get through a series of tasks.

I don’t view my mornings that way. Other than being beaten out of bed most mornings by a cat desperate for his canned food, the rest of my morning involves total engagement.

I enjoy the feel of the steaming water in the shower and spend the time thinking about events past and those to come. I love the way to morning light plays in the garden outside, and I drink in the scent of the freshly ground coffee as it settles into the receptacle. I feel Lokis soft fur and his sharp claws as be begs for breakfast. When I step out to collect the newspaper I drink in the odour of the morning, wet or dry, and listen for what birds might be awake and calling to each other. The collared doves, the Stellar’s Jays, the norther flickers, a robin, the sparrows…. they are all engaged in their morning conversations.

I love the sound and feel of the newspaper pages turning and the scent and taste of my coffee as I sip it….while repeatedly moving a cat off the paper that I am trying to read.

And at the end of the series of events, I open my makeup case and run my fingers over the brushes inside before choosing the colours of eyeshadow for the day.

The little rituals of morning set the tone for the day. All of these little events are part of our daily story and are worth a moment of our daily thought. Rituals don’t have to be religious or spiritual, but they are, even marginally, tiny moments worth celebrating….

…….particularly the coffee.