For the past two days a cold rain out of the Antarctic has lashed the windowpanes. Inside, though warm, the light coming in through the many windows is coloured cool, clean and speaks of rational thought. Outside, the shivering silvered branches, though elegant, seem to beg to want to come into the shelter of the house.
Normally, assuming there are no clouds, for a few weeks on either side of the winter solstice the first rays of the morning sun tunnel into the house. This is because I cut a hole through the trees and opened up a passage to allow the winter sun to first peek into the house around 8AM instead of 9:30AM.
This extra early hit of direct morning light only lasts around fifteen minutes before dimming into the darkening branches. But what a lovely, if brief, sensation on my awakening mood as I meditate to the sun’s low yellow grace notes tuning up the walls. All this while I’m nestled in a soft, cushioned red seat dipping into the morning’s reading of prose or poetry.
To create this sun tunnel (aka “sunnel”), I did have to chainsaw down four magnificent trees. My conscience, however, only tweaked a wee bit as the firewood gathered from these trees is what is keeping me cozy warm these cold winter mornings. Along with this, I have planted 8,800 other trees on the property sequestering more carbon than I will ever use in my lifetime.
Why I Wake Early
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
Here is a one minute video showing what it is like when the clouds part and allow the morning sun to flow into the house. With a voice over of Mary Oliver’s poem “Why I Wake Early”.