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Soft music plays and I drift from the world of sleeping, to the world of consciousness.
I say a silent prayer of gratitude as I pour myself a cup of coffee, set to brew by a husband that has lovingly made sure the coffeemaker is set and finished brewing by the time I walk into the kitchen.

I step outside, quiet the hungry feline with some breakfast, and settle into my chair on the patio.

Silence. There are birds and the occasional lowing of a cow, maybe a car passing by with some poor soul that has to be at work already. But mostly stillness, and peace.

I inhale, and exhale. I watch the colors of the sky change from gray to periwinkle to blue. Admire the streaks of pink through the trees as the sun makes its way higher, more visible.

Before the first transition of color, I have refilled my cup. By the second, I have prayed this prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit. Breathe on me, breath of God. Breathe on me.”

I read sermons by my favorite monastery writers, and meditate on their words. The cat has finished his breakfast and ambles to the patio, where he will claim his spot in the chair where I prop my feet. He is not worried about his day. And neither am I.

Resentfully, I check my clock. I’ve been up for nearly an hour, and soon I will have to get ready for work. But one more cup of coffee beckons me. I’m not ready to step into my other world just yet.

Reagan watched me set my alarm last night. “You get up at 5:30?!” she exclaimed. I understand her incredulous tone. I used to think my dad was crazy for rising with the sun, even on his days off. But it has become my routine lately. Not to get more “stuff” done, but to embrace my day. To appreciate it for what it is, before it has become tainted with phone calls, and hurriedness, and demands, and responsibilities. My only duty at this point in my day is to myself. To drink in the beauty of what a new day brings: opportunity, possibilities, inspiration, hope.

I usually don’t pray any other words but the simple ones I’ve already said. I’ve found that they are enough. The very fact that I’m up and awake and requesting to be filled with and blessed by the presence of the Divine is a prayer unto itself.

At the end of the day, I will often find myself in the same spot, with a different perspective. I will be watching the sun go down instead of rise. I will be reflecting on my day, and all that has happened. I will be settling my heart and mind down instead of allowing them to become stimulated and awakened.

But the prayer will be the same. “Come, Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit. Breathe on me breath of God. Breathe on me.”

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