I wake up early, before anyone else, and take a moment to sit on the comfy couch with my laptop computer. Plastic eggs filled with candy are hidden all over the house, bits of bright color winking at me under lamp shades and behind curtains. My children are getting pretty old for the traditional Easter egg hunt, but when I suggested abandoning it this year, With-a-Why turned his big brown eyes on me, and next thing I knew, I was on my way to the store to buy candy. Boy-in-Black and With-a-Why are both sticklers for tradition; they feel comforted by the familiar rituals done every year, the same way, the same time.
When my kids were little, early mornings meant breastfeeding and changing diapers and sleepily trying to entertain active toddlers. Now that my kids are older – most of them teenagers who willingly sleep late – early mornings have become a quiet time to myself, time to walk in the woods, write in my journal, or just stare out the window with a cup of herbal tea.
Later this morning, I will wash lettuce and chop vegetables to make a big salad to bring to my mother’s house. When we get together for holiday meals, I always bring the salad. Right now, I take a few minutes to relax and write a blog post. I click through photos on my laptop, looking for one that will fit for Easter morning, and find an early morning photo taken at the monastery, the place where I go for retreat every spring and every fall.
I love dawn mornings at the monastery, wandering by myself through the barns and the sheep fields, listening to the bird song, sometimes climbing down the stone steps of the chapel to sit quietly and listen to the monks in their dark robes chanting. I watch the sun rise on the hills, early light touching the white fleece of the sheep and colour glowing around the edges of the clouds. I hope on this Easter morning that my blog readers, no matter what their faith, can have some early morning peace.