In the past couple of weeks with Elena and her parents, I have experienced more sunrises than the past several years put together! I’ve noted before (see my blog post here) that I’m naturally a late night person, so being in Milwaukee means an upside down schedule from my regular routine.
I’ve been sleeping on a futon in the living room underneath four windows that face southeast, and the front of their tree-lined street in Wauwatosa. Like opening a Christmas present together, Elena and I giggle every early morning as we lift up each shade to discover the color-covered sunrise sky before us. “Other one, other one!” she tells me, then throws herself on my pillow in giggly delight.
This morning during Elena’s nap, I read the new Mary Oliver poem, “A Thousand Mornings,” also the name of Oliver’s new collection. In those simple, genuine eight lines, I can almost hear Oliver’s own Elena-like giggles as her heart delights at being “overwhelmed by morning.”
"Oliver describes herself as witnessing all these things asshe stands by her door every morning, notebook and pen in hand. But, she tellsNPR's Rachel Martin, she doesn't actually do that every morning. "Almost.I thought, gee, I do lie a little bit, and I should have said, 'which is theway I begin most mornings,' " she laughs."
Leaning on the pillows and windowsill, Elena and I stare at and name the colors of the sky. We talk about the raining Autumn leaves that we both love to kick and run through, then we touch the window and discover the day’s weather, “Cold!!” she pronounces with her face and voice. I reach over to hand her Froggy, her favorite animal, but instead roll over and land in front of Elena, causing more giggles. “Almost, Buela, almost,” she encourages me—then she throws herself on top of me for a playful snuggle.