Mornings on the Patio

Quiet mornings are saving me right now.

The coronavirus pandemic has humbled me. It has made it evident that “I am not in control.” It has caused me to reexamine a lot of things in my life including some bad habits.

One habit I am currently re-working is my inclination to “hit the ground running” the moment I wake. In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote,

“It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals.”

I love the imagery. I am able to clearly envision the tigers (emails), elephants (angry people), snakes (meetings and commitments), lions (to-do items), and the buffalo herd (worries) bearing down on me as I begin my day. These “wild animals” can cause me to go from sleeping to “fight or flight” mode in seconds. It is not a comfortable, or healthy, way to begin the day. My inclination — especially during the pandemic — is to immediately beginning fighting off the aggressors.

Thankfully, Mr. Lewis provided a suggestion for those of us who are so inclined.

“And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.”

So, for the past several weeks I have committed to the “quieter life” to start my day. I’m still up early (and I can see those “wild animals” lurking), but I grab my cold-brewed coffee, and take a seat on the patio with Kosmo (my dog). We share a Jumbo Blueberry Donette.

I read.

Practice a little Spanish.

Pray.

Watch the birds.

Shove those animals back.

In the few weeks I have been doing this, I have noticed a marked difference. The tigers, elephants, snakes, lions, and buffalo still show up, but they aren’t as menacing. My quiet morning allows me to maintain perspective.

It prepares me for the chaos of the day by priming my soul with peace.

In case you are wondering, a “Jumbo Donette” is slightly smaller than an average donut. They aren’t terrible, and Kosmo loves them. I receive no compensation from Hostess.