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….
I too try and eat reverently with few distractions. I’ve struggled all my life with weight control and now I’ve found a plan that works. I’ve layered my own notions on top of it which include making my refrigerator a riot of beautiful enticing colors, fruit bowls overflowing with just perfect, plump specimens and yes, beautiful little plates and pretty little utensils. I have a little blue enameled knife with a bee on it that I always use when I spread simple things like cottage cheese or hummus. In the evenings I eat a small piece of cake that I made with only the best Callebut and Sharfenberger cocoas. I eat it quiety and respectfully; it closes up my eating for the day in a very wonderful way.
I have to confess I’m much more in the shovel-it-down-and-run-out-the-door camp, but at least we never eat breakfast in the car. This morning, though, I ate a grapefruit. A gorgeous pink one inside a golden, red-blushed skin. Now, to eat a grapefruit requires time and mindfulness if only to cut the thing up with minimal mess and no danger. And when I quickly grew antsy with the whole slicing-carefully-along-the-membranes process, I decided to use the time, rather than to grow annoyed, instead to examine the grapefruit, really appreciate its glistening fuschia beauty. And then I sat down at our table, with flowers in a teapot, cup of hot tea, crumbs on the table from last night’s dinner, and the paper, and felt positively meditative. For me anyway.
Having never been a breakfast person, I rarely sit down to anything before lunchtime and usually hit the ground running once my head leaves the pillow. But … I must have my morning coffee (I take mine blonde, thank you) in my special cup. I’m sure it’s all in my mind, but it just doesn’t taste the same in anything else.
Oh my…….is that cottage cheese on toast?!……………a favorite of mine ever since my ‘Nany’ introduced me to it as a child and it always surprises me when people make faces, you know, the ‘yuk’ kind of faces, when I tell them how much I enjoy it………….. Having returned home from tending an ‘under the weather’ friend, I logged on and found that we shared the same breakfast today………. although mine did not have the beautiful fruit to accompany it and was more of a lunchtime affair……….but whenever it happens, it is nice just to enjoy that small amount of time to relax, reflect, and actually pay attention to the food you are ingesting instead of grabbing a bite…(translation: granola bar)…. as you run from one ‘major accomplishment’ to the next ………bam, It would seem great minds really do think alike, haha………cars, furniture, wonderfully wonderful ‘friends’ and even nourishing food choices………Have a great evening and a beautiful tomorrow……..VV in PV
ah yes, vv in pv, it is cottage on toast. on whole grain incredibly dense loaf sliced and toasted. i’ve been outed. me and my cc for bfst. sisterhood in curds of cheese, perhaps. i hadn’t quite come out and said so in the above, for fear of all the lips curling into loud “yucks,” the yuck heard ’round the world. but yes, darlin, you can come over to my house for cottage cheese on toast any mornin. you might want to bring your friend. once he’s no longer under the weather. once, perhaps, he’s on top of it…..the weather, once he’s on top of the weather…..you might want to drive your ol’ volvo. park it next to my wagon. my wagon so old it doesn’t even have a cup holder, a fact that shocks the behoozies out of my little one. must seem like a cart without a horse, to the poor child. imagine that, the 5-year-olds whisper, those people have a car without a cup holder. who ever heard of such a thing? probably has music coming from a transistor radio, propped up on the dash. held in place with a rubber band……poor poor pitiful folk. that would be us. but you and me, vv, we see the beauty in the old, the rickety, the worn down. we see the beauty in curds of cheese on toast. thanks for pullin’ up to the table, the old, worn, scratched-over-time table….