breakfast by myself
i know, all across america right now, folks are guzzling, grabbing, driving-thru for breakfast. they are sloshing little o’s into their mouths, avec kiddies. they are ordering up uber-venti-soy-mocha-latte-blah-blah-blahs. sipping to their heart’s content, there at the dash board.
i’m slow and solitary when it comes to breakfast on the weekdays. i eat alone. i eat with ceremony, even.
yup. no slap-dash for me. i make a meditation of the morning stop for fuel.
especially on a monday.
like a shepherdess with her lambs, i get the first flock out the door, nudging out of bed, knocking on the bathroom door, reminding that time’s a-tickin’, sometimes shoving on shoes while boy no. 1 desperately tries to shovel in at least a few spoons of gruel. sometimes it’s not so pretty, this sheep herding in the morn. but eventually, i get all parties out to pasture.
mind you, all of the above occurs before the clock strikes seven.
and then, by the grace of a quirky little body clock and afternoon kindergarten, baby rip van winkle snores while the little hand sweeps past 7, 8 and, often 9. i’ve even had to rouse the sleeping mound as late as 10. it’s such a shame to have to tap the tiger that sometimes bites, though he sometimes wakes up purring.
as for me and my breakfast, i find great joy in a.) making it beautiful, and b.) packing it with what might sustain me through the long hours ahead. but best of all is the cloak of quiet in which i wrap that sacred hyphen in my day.
i know souls who meditate, legs crossed and tucked like human pretzels. i know souls who open to the divine through the lighting of a candle. and i know plenty of souls who skip all of the above and just dive, headlong, into the madness of the day.
seems i feed my soul through the careful feeding of my corporal self. at least in the morning, i do.
over the years i’ve gathered a little stack of little plates, plates just big enough for the few things i eat for breakfast. i have blue glass plates, red tin plates, old willow plates and blue-and-white plates with roosters, or the latest, with a whole barnyard scene parading ’round the rim.
i pull a plate off the shelf, and thus the mood for breakfast begins. coffee, always, goes into the big red mugs, one with little white hearts, or the one that curves right into the clutch of my hand. queer as it sounds, i lay out the fruit as if i’m getting ready to paint it, a study in color and contrast, glisten and fertile earth bursting. the bread is bread most often baked by a friend of mine, a gentle man, a man who kneads his longing for simplicity and a life nobly lived into the risen dough each night. i slather on cheese. i snip herbs from my little pots and lay sprigs of green, more life bursting, on the bumpy ridges of my cheese.
i lay all this at the place at the table looking out, looking out my window into the great beyond. i catch the birds in flight. i see squirrels romping. when the spring comes, i’ll watch buds unfolding. and in the deep of summer, i will carry my breakfast to the edge of my garden, and i won’t mind the buzzing bees. in fact if they descend on my portrait-ready pile of fruits, i’ll consider it a compliment and be quite pleased.
but in the cold months, the window is as close to the outdoors as my breakfast gets. so i get as close to the window as i can.
and then, i’m quieter still. i quiet every muscle and every bone, every thought and every worry. i only breathe. i only feel the pumping of my heart. softly. tenderly against the edge of the table, if i’m pushed up that close.
i breathe in deeply. i invite the powers of the universe, of the divine, to fill me. to fill every crevice and abyss. every part of me that aches. every muscle bursting to get on with the day.
and then i eat. trying to keep breathing. in that slow, deliberate way that all great wisdom tries to teach us. inspire. expire. the lungs taking over as the cleansing act of morning.
i hold the quiet. i taste the earth. i am swept up into the divine.
and then, alas, it’s over. i push back the chair, grab the plate, swish it under the faucet. grab one more gulp of coffee. then i’m onto the day. lord only knows what the day ahead will bring. but i’ve consumed so much more than you can see on my little plate.
i am, thanks be to God, fueled for yet another round of this wild thing called living.
so, now you know my little secret, my morning meditation, masquerading as a simple breakfast. i have an inkling i might not be alone in facing the day, fueled by more than pop tarts. anyone willing to divulge a morning ritual, meditative or otherwise? i would be so curious to know if there is a whole circle of us mustering sustenance beyond grams of protein on a plate….anyone else bold enough to admit that they find joy in making it beautiful for the eye, in a way that feeds the soul? however you jumpstart your heart for the day, i send blessings, and a prayer that you’ve found sustenance in the form that feeds you best.
p.s. lazy susan, restocked over the weekend, spins anew. take a gander. there’s the herb-off recipe, david’s hands, a blessing of the week. and even more….