It’s the weekend, an early morning on my back lanai. I’m reveling in the quiet with deep breathing, and emptying my mind of any stress by being present. My gratitude journal sits nearby and my copy of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is also here. I’m reading through it again, this time with a circle of friends.
I mindfully taste my coffee, making every sip count because I only allow myself two cups a day, half caffeine/half decaf. There’s a bit of a chill in the air, so I wrap up in a favorite quilt that a dear friend made for me. I love this time of day: no one else awake yet, taking the time to center myself before the day begins.
My daughter’s favorite cat, Felix, has come to the screen door, asking to be let in, so I indulge him. While our kitties are not tame by any means, Felix allows us to pet him. So I invite him to sit in the wicker chair next to me, and I give him long strokes that make him, and me, purr. After a while, he jumps off and sits at my feet, conducting his morning self-grooming. I wonder if his rituals bring him as much peace of mind as mine do for me.
I look out at ocean in the distance. To my left, an orange plunks down to the ground. To my right I can see the sun streaming through faint pink clouds and peeking around the foliage in the jungle that is my yard. But I don’t think of the yard work that needs to be done; not yet.
I enjoy the play of light on the ferns and the giant heliconia tree and the ti plants. I see a new fern fiddle head unfurling right outside the screen. There’s not much breeze this morning, just a gentle waft now and then. I see the baby avocados hiding beneath the leaves of my stately old avocado tree, and send a blessing for a good crop, hoping that they either ripen early, before our annual summer trip, or wait until we get back. No matter, I have plenty of friends who will stop by and pick up these beauties while I am gone. It’s all good.
Felix brings my attention inside again by licking on my toes; he wants to go back out. This is a good time for a slow stroll into the backyard. I survey the banana crop: seven bunches, in states from baby to plumped out, but all still green. I’ll have to keep my eye on the one most ready. I can see that Coconut Chris was here while I was out yesterday. He harvests our coconuts in exchange for trimming the trees and mulching the yard.
The puakenikeni bush has finally decided to put out some flowers. This bush was a tree a couple of years ago – so large it dominated the backyard. Kim and Thomas “trimmed” it back several times but they finally felled it. Now it has come back with a vengeance. This whole time it has spent its energy putting out leaves; it must be 30 feet across and 25 feet tall. But now we have the flowers, and with them, a most fragrant scent.
And I see that the mound where my husband buried the boar is finally settling as it decomposes. I’ll tell you the pig story someday. Wandering around to the front, I am delighted to see that my lilikoi plants (passion fruit) have also flowered. I’ve tried to grow lilikoi for three years without success; maybe this is the year.
This is what my paradise looks like, feels like on a Saturday morning: peaceful, calm. I hope your paradise is the same. If not, consider adopting some daily or weekend morning calming rituals, whether it’s walking in your garden, playing with your pet, writing a gratitude journal, or emptying your mind of stressful thoughts. Serene and tranquil is a marvelous way to start the day. Take care of yourself. Remember, self-care is not selfish.
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