Every now and then I have the luxury of a slow morning. No alarm clock. No early start with work appointments. Just relaxing into my own rhythm. Before breakfast I have a bounce on my rebounder while taking in the fresh morning air, letting my eyes sink into the distant horizon

and watch the pohutukawas slowly coming into flower.

Time to enjoy the flaming pansies I’ve planted

and to hear the petunias trumpeting their morning song, while the tuis sing from the distant trees.
I have time to enjoy watching the amaryllis, which surprised me by springing up and producing a sumptuous bud.

 I have time to reflect. My thoughts turn back to almost one year ago, when I was feeling the pang of an anniversary.

 You know how it is. Somehow grief gets packaged away behind the calendar, tucked in and tightly bound, where it lurks, waiting for the one date when it is guaranteed to break through, gasping and clawing the air.

 I impulsively bought this flowering amaryllis last year, on the anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death. The plant reminded me of her in an inexplicable way. Grief broke through the calendar on that day, but buying the amaryllis in full flower provided solace: a counterbalance of beauty and softness.

On the very day of the third anniversary this year, it burst into flower. As if it knew. Not just one, but four, one for each of the four directions: east, west, north and south. Elizabeth was a traveller. She covered every point of the compass in her adventures. And now the amaryllis was singing her praises.

Slow mornings. Time to step outside, to be with the plants and to be with my thoughts, wherever they take me.

Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening, has a piece for this time of year, entitled ‘The Truth about Morning’.  He says:

There is a vastness that quiets the soul. But sometimes we are so squarely in the midst of life’s forces that we can’t see what we’re a part of. . . . 

The truth about morning is that it is the small light of the beginning breaking through, again and again.