With a veil so thin, greeting the day comes with ease. Calling, are the steadily crashing waves and the sun’s colorful display. A wild pony mozies its way through the campsite and shorebirds speak their truths from over the dunes. Amidst this wondrous display, rising with a sense of gratitude and love for the world comes naturally. Fear, anxiety and stress have no place here. Slowly and unrushed, one emerges from the tent, toes touching sand, and lazily moves down to the water’s edge. The body twists and uncoils, awaking ever so gently. Soon enough, the time comes to wade into the warm water - Summer's heat preserved. Diving beneath the crashing waves, thoughts of elsewhere vanish. As we climb back to solid ground, refreshed and renewed, the body and soul have been awakened to the sense of belonging that is always present. Where we are is exactly where we need to be.
Waking immersed in such a setting is a gift. We are left laughing at our foolishness and how we once failed to fully appreciate this world and this life - a feeling which accompanies us more often than we’d like. With nature’s full-bodied presence surrounding us, “to-do lists” begin to look rather silly. Be here. Enjoy this. And be gentle to others. What else?
Of course, such opportunities may come only rarely. Instead of an ocean's waves, a gently trickling stream or the wind in the leaves, we awake to the sounds of cars passing us by. The first moment of the day leaves us longing for more sleep, or we are filled with thoughts of what must be done this day. Mouths to be fed, money to be made and fences to repair. The list is endless. When we cannot easily transplant ourselves to more peaceful places, how can we ensure our mornings provide the nourishment we crave and need?
Wherever we go, there we are. And so long as our hearts beat, air must pass in and out of our bodies. The breath is our anchor. It is our constant reminder that we are alive. In these bodies, in this moment. Maybe it's excitement or dread, hope or despair, alone or surrounded by others, birdsong or sirens. Perhaps your head is still on the pillow, or you’ve set out for a walk around the block. Maybe time is limited today and you are already taking your turn on the highway or you’re busy beginning to tend to the needs of others. No matter what your morning looks like, your breath is the tool capable of bringing you closer to the peaceful core of existence. It is our nourishment.
Rising in the chest and belly, filling the back and shoulders, bringing lightness and clarity to the mind and heart - the oxygen in each breath longs to meet every cell in the body. As we bring our attention to this reality, we become mindful of the connecting force that flows in and out of us like the rising and falling ocean at our feet. Beginning the day with love requires us to be mindful that we already have everything we need. We depend on the world around us and the world around us depends on us. The breath and its maintained connection to all that has ever been, all that is and all that will ever be, is the anchor to our belonging in this world, this moment. It is root, limb, leaf and the passing breeze. Moving in and out of the body full of life, energy and wisdom, each breath is a miracle. All we have to do is notice.