Good Morning, Good Night

winter morning

When I was a young lass, my family moved from sunny southern California to the wilds of northern British Columbia, Canada. The first few months were a bit of a culture shock, as it was the dead of winter when we arrived. Each morning my mom would come and wake me up while it was still dark outside. I would get out of bed, run across the cold floor in bare feet and stand over the heat vent.

My nightgown would billow out like a filled balloon as the forced warm air flowed. I would stand there each day, listening to my Mom off in the kitchen humming “Do you Know the Way to San Jose” plaintively. And my thoughts would just kind of fade away. Staring into the zone, I would experience stillness and peace for those few moments.   Looking back I realize that those were my first meditations.

Nowadays I try to meditate twice a day. I have a very busy life and most days I don’t have too many chances to just relax, so those first 20 minutes of stillness, and those last 20 minutes of stillness… they mean the world to me. They are the bookends to my crazy days.

Wrapped in the luxury of my soft robe, I let go of the tensions and anxieties and allow myself to just be. My thoughts don’t always stop completely, but even if I get a few good solid breaths where I am just in the moment, I feel like I have had a great sit.

If you haven’t tried meditating, or think it is hard, please pop over here and read this. I promise you that it is easier than you think. And I promise you that when you commit to taking those moments for yourself, you will reap benefits beyond your imagination.

It is dark midwinter, and yesterday the groundhog promised 6 more weeks of the same. I took the news calmly. I have become accustomed to the four seasons we enjoy in Canada. And it only took me 45 years.

And now if you will excuse me, I have a heat vent I need to go stand over.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

8 thoughts on “Good Morning, Good Night”

  1. I have lived in Birch Bay, WA for 14 years and have learned to really love all the seasons – particularly the winter.:) A time go within, to honor what nature suggests in allowing our bodies to rest, regroup and ready for spring. And I soooo agree with your words on meditation – and love how you refer to it as the ‘bookends’ of your day. Perfect. I, too, treasure these gifts of time when I can ‘just be.’ Thanks so much for your wonderful sharings, Brenda Ann!

    1. Thank you so much, Maureen… I love the idea of using winter to rest and regroup. It is exactly what our bodies would have us do. Sleep and stillness are such a beautiful luxury during the short days of winter. I will try to cherish them more 🙂

      1. I used to feel guilty when I slept in or just decided to ignore things that I COULD be doing, and chose instead to pick up a good book or watch a movie. (old Catholic stuff? Or maybe my MBTI type??);) In any case, it is much easier for me now to allow myself the regrouping time. Meditation has been so key in all of that – realizing the value of the moment as well as honoring my Beingness. xx

  2. Wonderful!! I didn’t know you were from California!! It must be why you are such a prodigious maker and realizer of dreams!! 🙂 PS: While my ancestors are from northern Alberta and Manitoba, I too have my daytime sits are with my feet over a heat vent, SIS!!

    1. SISTERS! That is funny. I now have graduated to using the plug in blanket, which unfortunately makes me want to sit there all day long. Unfortunate because I can’t 😉

      1. I loved Maureen’s response…and of course it makes a song appear in my head: “to everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn…” Those periods of sitting there all day long (or for parts of days)? It’s a pattern for which I used to get down on myself. Now, folks call it caving or hibernating, but I like to call it The Percolation Time: after a long period of “unproductiveness” (the world’s word) or “percolation,” the creative part of my brain just explodes. For me, it always coincides with winter, specifically December – February, so now I mindfully allow myself that time to do nothing but percolate. For others, winter is a time to be creative and summer is a time to percolate. It doesn’t matter, as long as we have some percolation time. Besides, it reminds me of that wonderful aroma when waiting expectantly for that first sip of wonderful organic free-trade dark roast coffee in the morning. The percolation time has it’s own wonderful joy to it!!

        1. Percolating! Love that.:) I used that word with a friend just the other day. That is exactly what is happening with Mother Earth. It’s not as though all of the flowers and blossoms decide on March 20th/21st, “OK, LET’S DO IT NOW!!” haha They have been gracefully preparing for their emergence into the light all throughout the dark of winter… Such miracles all around us.:)

I'd love to hear your thoughts...