This essay was inspired by Small Pleasures, an amazing collection of essays from the School of Life in London, along with a recent conversation with a good friend.
You wake up feeling refreshed and surprisingly energized, glad you passed on that final drink and got to sleep early. You throw on some sweats, move through the quiet of the kitchen, and drive over to the store for milk. While you haven’t arisen earlier than yesterday, the world is still asleep. The empty store and your pleasant mood makes for a nice chat with the clerk. The cool air and deserted streets keep your mind at ease.
As you return to the serenity of home, your robed partner has started the coffee and welcomes the milk’s arrival. Long shadows are joined by soft music and light conversation, simple back and forth about how you slept and feel while cleaning up bottles from last night. Ingredients are unloaded onto the counter and as the first strips of bacon start to crackle, the workshop inches toward life. You hear the pit-pat of slippers exiting the room and realize you’re alone now. Others will be here soon, but at that point it will be louder and brighter, and you’re glad you woke up early.
Our routines and expectations make most mornings a bother. Coffee on the move, meals built for travel, if any at all, and commutes that are louder and more crowded than you could possibly prefer. Upcoming tasks and meetings turn all else into obstacles. But each day is a step toward relaxation. Humanity’s energy builds like a wave, cresting at the close of shop Friday into the soft, subtle whitewash of Saturday morning.
As the house rustles to life, more characters enter the scene. Ambitious plans for pancakes and homemade breakfast sandwiches are concocted. You’re nibbling at the this point, resting with a second cup as others take the reins on the stove. Your conversation, which began as an anecdote about the office, is injected with new life.
The morning ebbs and flows, energy coming from people who are together far too infrequently. The prime of your day, the late morning, is so often reserved for productivity toward some foreign cause, but finally it can be focused on the most important part of life. Plans exist for later but the day will be stress free and that brings out the silliness in everyone. A room full of perspectives allows you to listen and learn. You lower your guard and question norms. Continuing to sip, you grab just a little more croissant. What an amazing morning.