Sunday, February 13, 2011


Wake up to the sound of small animals jumping around in their cages, insisting to be fed. Feel an absence next to you and realize your husband has gone down to feed the dogs. Blearily make your way downstairs feed the cat and the bunnies who are impatiently waiting. Head back upstairs and discover husband has gone back to sleep. Curl up under the covers and pull out the book about Hemingway's wife you desperately want to finish. Read a chapter, then two. Try to ignore dog whining, then get up and take her out. While outside notice that the sunrise looks eerily familiar to a sunset. Try and calculate how long it's been since you've seen the sun make its way into the sky. Collect the dog, skedaddle into the house and grab the camera in order to get a photo for the blog to represent Light. Put on the correct lens, zip up husband's coat and dismiss the idea of gloves. Once outside, notice that the trees and the sky are beautifully reflected in the car window, quickly take a picture. Make your way carefully across the snow covered street, only to discover that the clouds aren't as pink as they used to be. Glance up and see that further along the road they are still quite beautiful.

Start to make your way up the hill, congratulating yourself on choosing to wear your boots instead of your sons fake, though fleece-lined, crocs. Continue up the hill, hoping no one looks out the window to see the determined, somewhat crazed look in your eye. Perhaps they will mistake you for a hunter, yet you are holding a camera, not a gun. Know that they will not think of you as paparazzi, no one here is worth filming in that way. Instead they may see a crazy lady with her hair going every-which-way, wearing her husband's too-big fleece coat, and too-big pants that don't seem like they would belong to her, but do. Be thankful for too-big pants that are lined in fuzzy material and extend well below ankle-length, leaving no fear of an errant winter draft coming in. Keep walking in the direction of the well-lit sky. Your watch drops off as if to signify that time no longer matters. Pick it up, dust it off and put in husband's coat pocket. Keep walking, notice that the only sound is the sound of the snow crunching under your boots. Catch the sound of someone laughing. Shrug it off when you realize it's only the crows, not a neighbor who can't believe what you will go through to take a photograph. Stop. Put the camera up to your eye, focus and frame the shot. Silently thank your neighbors for repainting their house this fall, dull white would not have provided as much contrast in your picture.

Begin the slow journey home, hoping the shot is what you wanted it to be. Curse yourself for not bringing gloves. Curl your hands inside coat sleeves and walk faster. Be careful not to slip on the snow covered road as you make your way down the hill. Notice when you get home and walk past the car that the image reflected in the window is no longer the same as the picture you took before you set out. Shake your head and ponder at the fleeting light and think of how lucky you are to be up this morning to witness the beauty. Quietly head into the house taking off the coat and boots. Make your way upstairs to sleeping dogs, sleeping husband, and somewhere a sleeping boy. Pick up the book and continue where you left off. Keep smiling though it makes your cold cheeks sting. Come downstairs later to a husband making coffee. Needing your watch, retrieve it from his coat pocket. Your husband couldn't be more surprised if you pulled a quarter from behind his ear. Smile your secret smile, know that your morning adventure wasn't a dream --you've got the photo to prove it.

Mornings are a rush. Drink coffee, walk dogs, make breakfast, pack lunch, feed dogs, feed horses, refill frozen buckets with hot water lugged from bathtub, check for eggs under warm, clucking poultry. And then drink coffee again. Did you remember to pack your homework? Is today library day? Are you sure those gloves are dry? It's karate day, I'll pick you up after school. Out, out now. Now. When two boys and one man exit the house it's like a sigh. The baby and I (yes, I know, not a baby, but still the one staying behind) take stock of the day ahead and settle into our preferred approaches. He asks for a cookie. I insist on oatmeal first. He suggests a morning movie. I start reading a book about pirates, or Amelia Bedelia, or Scooby damn Doo. When that doesn't hold his fleeting attention I break out the train tracks and the kitchen floor turns industrial. Sometimes we sit in the hallway and discover light. Particle? Wave? We have nothing further to contribute to the collective body of knowledge, except this: morning light on the wall is as good as playdough. And when he tries to eat it, there's no cleanup. "What did that taste like?" I ask. "Ummmm... cookies?" he answers. Every morning is a new opportunity to hope.


  1. You guys are so amazing every single time, I wonder how you do it. Thank you for this and every entry. I always scroll back, reread, take notes, memorize.

  2. Your writing is breathtaking. Thanks so to I.R. for bringing me here. Lovely.

  3. Oh Beth- I know that exact walk so well! I look at things as though I want to shoot them (with a camera,:) and then I can't take the photo for some reason. Then I chase the photo, so fleeting sometimes. sigh....
    Andi- Are you in my house?

  4. As usual I am blown away by both of you.