I get up to feed my pestering dog breakfast and notice a line of brilliant orange peeking up over the horizon. It is going to be one of those picture-perfect sunrises. The race is on.
They only last about 15 minutes. But it is a perfect 15 minutes of peaceful nature. As the first rays of sunlight reflecting off the water, the movement of the ducks gliding in a row, and the sound of the birds singing good morning, complete the meditative experience.
So I have to hurry. I don’t want to miss any of it.
I rush to get the dogs their breakfast, grab a fresh cup of coffee, and find a blanket. Because the experience isn’t the same if I am cold. And I don’t have much time before I get ready for the day, so I need my morning Sumatra blend.
The irony isn’t lost on me. I am literally zooming around my house to hurry outside, get comfortable, and relax.
I know I am not the only person with a busy schedule, and as my husband would remind me, I create my schedule. However, over the years, I have learned that even a few minutes of being outdoors, sitting quietly, and using all my senses to take in the new day, do wonders for my mental health and the quality of my day.
The Benefits of Only a Few Minutes of Meditation
There is a trick to it, though. I guess it is what those who can meditate experience. You must bookend these moments. Those minutes must be protected to get the real benefit, even if it is only for 15 minutes. I sit on my porch and pretend in my mind that I could be sitting here for hours. That I will quietly watch the day commence from this one spot.
I know I don’t have to start getting ready till 6:45 am. Until then, time stands still. I don’t think about what I must do to get out of the door. I don’t think about the day ahead. I stay in this moment, fully present, breathing in the fresh outdoors. I wonder if the ducks and geese are cold in the water as I warm my hands on my steaming mug of coffee.
I ponder whether God will provide some pink and lavender streaks to top off the morning. I am amazed that everything pitch-black below the horizon revealed itself in this short window of time.
And at least for today, I am thankful that my dogs fully participated, and as good lap dogs should, provided me with additional warmth and surrounded me with love. (Some days, they cause a premature break in the practice as they tear off across the yard to disturb my peace and menace the wildlife perched on our banks.)
If you ever saw me, try to get out of the house in the morning; it isn’t a pretty site. I am now late, hurrying to get ready, eat breakfast and gather all the things I need to leave the house with. Which inevitably requires at least one, usually two, return trips to the house for forgotten items.
But it is ok.
It is worth it.
Morning Tranquility Starts the Day Right
To capture the short time of complete and utter tranquility at the start of the day. Protecting those few minutes, even if it means rushing around before and after, provides me with:
- The presence of God and all his creation.
- The knowledge that I can, when needed or desired, block out the hurry, the noise, and the pressure of the world.
- A settled feeling that all is right in the world.
- A few minutes of clearing my mind and heart and getting a reset for the new day.
All the books and gurus call this mindfulness or talk about the practice of meditation. This may be the same. My mind won’t cooperate when I try to meditate on purpose. But the cherished moments of a sunrise or sunset are a practice that works for me.
What works for you? If you haven’t found something yet, it is worth investigating and searching.
What you might just find is the calm you need to face the storms of life.