After a ridiculously long vacation, I am back on campus this week to a full schedule, no longer master of my days. Back to the mines, as James yelled after me when I dramatically trudged off to two days of meetings last week.
Being back at school has me seeking out a new morning routine. I hate when the busyness of the semester crushes in, driving out all the quiet spaces in life, prompting me to roll over in bed until the last possible minute and then rushing around frantically to make it out the door in time. In theory, I like mornings. I can go from asleep to chatty in a remarkably short time and I dragged myself out of bed to go running before sunrise almost every morning of college. But in reality, this just testifies to being able to be good at mornings if forced, not liking them. In reality, I love those cozy flannel sheets and down comforter with the fire of a thousand suns and I will do anything to stay in them longer. My morning routine usually involves lots of wasting time on Facebook, watching pathetic TV while I curl my hair, and scrambling out the door just in time.
As I look forward to this semester, inwardly groaning at the work and stress, I realize that I need to start carving out some quiet in the everyday. I need to discipline myself to start each day a little earlier, fritter a little less time away on the Internet as I get ready, and have a soothing morning ritual. Ritual grounds us, roots us, calms us. This morning I made my tea, sat in the pool of sun at the table, and spent some time in quiet reading.* Scripture, Oswald Chambers, C.S. Lewis, those words bring quiet back to my soul.
And then it’s out the door and back to rushing.
But a little of the quiet will hopefully stay.
Note: That picture was taken by my dad when he lived in Kenya close to 40 years ago. It almost makes me want to learn film photography because I love it so much. It also reminds me, just like all those awesome Dutch still lives, how perfectly beautiful a messy table is.
* Full disclosure for the sake of reality: I was still running late this morning, so I had to rush to get my quiet, but we are taking baby steps towards zen mornings around here.