Morning is a miracle24 April 2017
Morning is such a miracle. I take it for granted on most days. There is no guarantee that I will rise. Or that you will for that matter. It is God’s mercy that allows my bones to creak and groan and rise, like a crumpled, crooked marionette , pulled to life and standing by those invisible strings. My mind—forgettaboutit. It takes 2 ½ cups of strong coffee and 45 minutes to fully come to life.
Morning, like breath, is so important, yet so underappreciated. You take it for granted until you stop breathing or you can’t rise from the bed. So much of what we believe comes from our own energy is really borrowed energy. It is a wonder that the sun rises, give or take a few minutes, depending on the season. I heard a story about a dancer once. She would rise every day and rush to do her practice exercises, plies or whatever else dancers do, without doing her prayers. Until one morning she found as hard as she could, her legs were stiff . She tried to stand off the bed and collapsed. She started showing symptoms of a slowly degenerative muscle disease. She lost her ability to dance. But with time, therapy, drugs and prayer, she gained it again. “I never rise without doing my morning prayers,” she confessed. “I cannot start the day without thanking God for it. I will never take it for granted that I can rise and use my legs again.”
To start the day with prayerful thanksgiving is so necessary in this world plagued with the “to-do” list, the cares of “how will that deal and that appointment scheduled for today go. “ The beasts of cares with claws pounce on that sweet sleep that emerges from the peace of unconsciousness and shred it to pieces before it has a chance to fully wake. The birds know more than us. I heard the song of spring on the throat of some kind of bird walking to the subway. Even in this concrete jungle the magic and mystery of nature does not fail to break through. Yet this bird in the urgency of its deep-throated chant was praising its Maker.
The morning is a petite resurrection. We lie in a sleep, the petite mort, for eight or so hours and then my some inner stirring, the morning breathes into us, calls us into action, and we rise. We rise like Lazarus from the dark cave of slumber and are refreshed enough to face the muck of the world afresh. My Lord, we need to feel that small resurrection every morning, that comes as such relief. The blessing that comes with the morning—that we can begin again like new. That we can hope for something better in the newness of another day. That we can put behind the disappointments, the agonies, the sorrows, the exhaustion of the day before—and live in the hope, the chance that today might be better than yesterday. The relief of forgetfulness that comes with the night—even for just the two to three minute stretch when our soul is born onto the stretch of the terry-cloth white possibility of an empty day.
Every morning serves as a reminder that even if you wake up to the same place, to the same circumstances, to the same problems (to the same shit), the same skin, the same self, there is a chance that this day, perhaps, this day things will be a little different, a bit better.
How my heart waits patiently for the morning;
How my soul expects the unfading dawn!
My heart leaps up like the lark
Because it remembers its Lord
As the first rays of morn delight the eyes
My heart leaps up with joy
In the morning light
In the daybreak chorus of song
My heart rings out
Emanates in gladness and a madrigal
For it has not been consumed by the darkness
Its eyes have been uncovered to witness the glory in yet another day
Oh bringer of light
Who walks in shifting cinnabar, salmon-coral, royal purple, rose golden robes of damask
Whisking clouds and hyssop bushes with each footfall on the horizon
Bridegroom whose countenance is secretly unfolding behind veils of chiffon, tulle, and lace
You who walks upon the dew and baby breath of earth just waking, apucker and wrapped in shawls of dreams and intimations of immortality
My heart is glad because it sees your light
You have trampled down the darkness
You have banished the shadows of the night
The nightmare visions replaced by nightingale warbles
The sweat and blood on the pillow
The doom bell of the midnight hour
How my heart waits patiently for the morning;
How my soul thirsts for the unfurling dawn—
To meet the sight of my Bridegroom and light-giver
Who comes walking across the fields of gold
And envelopes me in His warm hands
Bathing me in the hope of light
Exuberating my spirit from its slumber, from the shadowy realm of its unconsciousness
Resurrection reams from the unfurled scroll of the day’s accounts
Oh how my soul leaps up like the lark at the dint of day
Oh how my soul rises up in time with the Son