Some mornings I am completely seduced by the allure of reading. The "to do" list written prominently on the blackboard by my kitchen clamours for my attention, but I ignore it. Healthy Me tugs at my conscience, whispering in my ear that I should really go for a walk, but I pretend not to hear her. Instead, I stay in my pyjamas, brew a pot of coffee, and settle in to read.
I'm book-wealthy just now, having made a trip to the library this week and then been given books as well, and this morning their siren call was impossible to ignore. I curled up on the couch, plucked the first book from the top of the pile and settled in, dividing my attention between my book and the sunrise scene coming into view outside my front window.
The novel, a detective mystery, was action-filled and interesting, busy with sinister villains and a complicated plot.
The sunrise was exactly the opposite.
The sky grew paler at its edges and then began to blush. faint pink spreading upwards from the hilltops. It caught the trails of cloud just above, and deepened into something altogether different - a vivid fuschia limned at the bottom with an edge of glowing phosphorus - then continued its gradual flow of colour across the sphere above.
The book drew me back again. The family dogs, stolen by the villain's henchmen, were in danger. Would they survive?
I read on until the changing light once again drew my eyes from the page. The view from the window was magical: the clouds had gathered together to form a few tall cumulus stacks - orange shadowed with lavender grey - that sailed upon a sea of pink and mauve.
As transitory as a single breath, the colour in the sky began to fade, not disappearing so much as growing quiet. The clouds settled into shades of peach and grey, the blush behind them receding, giving way to the palest, most delicate of blues. Peach faded to yellow, then brightened to white, and the sun, having made its appearance above the shoulder of the hill, shone directly in my window.
On the power lines across the street, a crowd of raucous crows shouted their morning news across the neighbourhood while a covey of mourning doves in the tree beside my balcony hoo-hoooed a gentler good morning to each other.
A breeze came dancing down the street, ruffling leaves as it passed my way, and in its wake the neighbourhood woke up.
The ginger cat who owns the family across the street climbed onto the roof, arranged itself so it could drape front paws and head over the edge, then settled in to watch its humans enjoy coffee on the steps just below.
Two women, with the serious stride of those who walk for exercise, strode along the pavement discussing their plans for the day.
The first city bus of the day went by, mostly empty, a few seats occupied by still-sleepy passengers leaning their heads against the window as they nodded their way towards their destinations.
An old man walked a tiny, perfectly groomed white dog towards the park, pausing patiently every few feet to allow his small friend to sniff fence posts and shrubs. Both took their time; the man gazing at the scenery around him, the dog gathering news of other pets who'd passed this way before him.
My heart, quieted by the peaceful scene outside, told my spirit that all was right with the world, then urged me back to bed. I set the book aside, - heroes and villains could wait a while - tucked myself in, and drifted back to sleep.
However your day has begun today - busy or quiet or some balance between the two - and whatever your plans may be, I hope you find a peaceful moment in which to enjoy the gifts it brings you, and to shelter in the calm. Have a joyful Thursday.