by Kathleen McConnell
I open my eyes in the darkened room. The house is quiet and still. Even the loyal alarm clock has not awakened to alert the beginning of the new day.
My dog, Sophie, wags her tail in a good-morning greeting and is as eager as I to step out into the cool morning breeze. There is a purple and tangerine glow just behind the prairie’s edge, making the black silhouettes of the crooked mesquite trees show up in the woods.
This is the part of the day I look forward to seeing, and I am glad I did not linger in the warm bed to have missed it.
The rooster hears me as I make my way to the chicken yard. I can hear him flap his wings as he begins to crow. It’s not daylight yet, but he doesn’t want me to do his job of announcing a new day to the barnyard gang.
After getting all of the animals taken care of, I see the sun has now shown itself as a large, dark-orange circle, getting smaller as it rises quickly. Sophie and I walk the grounds, both of our heads bent down. She is sniffing out the latest late-night guest that has visited for a drink from the pond. I am searching for the latest bud or bloom to show its beauty as the day grows brighter.
I head to the garden grounds and plant the onion sets in the prepared area I had worked the day before. As I look out over where I want to plant the pumpkins and flowers in a few weeks, my mind is already planning other garden spaces I want to create for flowers. When the weather warms, most of my morning hours will be spent here.
I head back into the house, quickly tossing in a load of laundry and thinking about a meal and a pie that I want to prepare.
Now is the time I look forward to the most: the time to go into my space to create my latest designs. I surround myself with linen, cotton fabric, and floss and begin to work on the day’s stitching. I will work here for a good part of the day, stopping now and then to tend to the cat’s or dog’s need for affection and for the daily routine things that need to be taken care of.
I feel blessed to have this life to wake up to ... to rise to each day. Self-rising, in any dictionary, will be defined as “capable of rising by itself.” I usually associate these words with bread, but if there were a dictionary created just for the farmer or for the artist, I am sure these words would be there to define them. I self-rise each day, thankful that I have a brand-new day waiting for me enjoy. There is a magic to self-rising. I like to think that if I reach the age of 95, I will still open my eyes to greet the day without the nudging of an alarm clock to make me do so.
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