The day was about to begin. There was a sense of mystique about that notion. Beginnings were always exciting to her – more than “being in the middle of’s” or “ending up as”. Dawn, no matter whether rainy dawns or sunny dawns, no matter snowy or foggy, dawn was always special. It had been her mother’s favorite time of day. It was during that time when she connected with her mother. Quietly. Intimately. Without anyone else even knowing. It was an awakening of sorts as she was finally able to reconcile her mother’s spirit which lived within. The trees seemed greener. The wind seemed kinder. The birds’ songs seemed more chipper.
Looking out her bedroom window, she could see that today was going to bring rain. That was okay. She loved the rain. Rain brought calm. Calm brought reflection. It was a time to gather thoughts, organize memories and make sense of her world. There had been so much happening in her life that her sense of priority had become muddled. There was much ado about everything. She needed someone to set her straight – to inukshuk her world per se. Her mom did that for her for years – then Thelma. Now? Now she had to turn inward to find the guiding spirits. She needed to listen closely to the voices of the past and to hear their sage advise. Rainy days provided more reliable conduits for mentors of her past.
“Be still. Listen. Float.” she repeated to herself.
But she was distracted. There was a hum in the air that gummed up her hearing. She just couldn’t seem to get a clarity. Even through the morning rain.
She looked away from the window. There was laundry to do. There were beds to be made. There were bills to pay. The routines of life seemed to drown out the pleasure of her dawn divinities. The walls of her room had been painted so many years ago and she was painfully aware the colour needed to be updated. The green of the 90’s had been slapped on the wall as an emergency cover-up for the orange – bedroom makeover the previous owners had indulged. Bit of orange poked through out of the green in spots. They had been staring at her for the last decade. And she had been staring back. This stand-off happened when she lay in her bed, thinking how that stucco on the ceiling would influence the resale of the home. She didn’t mind stucco – but she had watched enough home decorating shows to know that it was “out of style”. The orange paint inevitably won the staring contest as she blinked and looked away every time. She knew though, that one day, that paint would lose and a carefully selected shade of grey would put the orange beast to sleep once and for all!
It was nearly ten minutes later when she snapped out of the decorating battle she had waged in her own head. She bent down and picked up the laundry basket – then walked out of the room and into her morning. Dawn had ended – the mystique was gone. The day faced her head on. Down the stairs she went. She was careful to step over the dog who lay at the foot of the stairs in an awkward sprawl which encompassed the base of the stairs and the bottom step. This was a good place for Jazz, the dog, to claim. She was not permitted upstairs – from the time she was a puppy. One of the children had a rather severe allergy to dogs and to have Jazz upstairs would have resulted in distress. Of course the obvious solution would have been to simply not get the dog in the first place. A pleading child, which then became the chorus of three children and a husband trumped logic – and poof – the dog became the new addition to the family.
The washing machine was full of clean, wet clothes already. The dryer too – was full of dry clothes. It was as though the machines had done their job, but the master of ceremonies had departed and left the machines to perform the closing act all on their own. Of course, this was not to happen and so “she”, the supply emcee – stepped up to the plate to remove the dry clothes into a hamper and transfer the wet clothes to the dryer so that this new load of laundry could begin it’s own first act. Wash. Dry. Fold. Remove. Wash. Dry. Fold. Remove. Wash. Dry… sigh. There had to be more to the day.
And there was. Just down the hall – waiting for her in the kitchen sink – the dishes were calling her name.
She looked out the window once more. The sky was grey. It sucked her in. She flew up towards the misty Heavens and soared with the gulls who played in the currents. They swooped, dove, hung suspended on an updraft, carried by the winds.
Crash. An emergency landing to reality brought her back down. “Canadian Tire wants to know if I can go into work tomorrow!”
And the world of work was about to begin for child #3!
The morning had already thrown her a curve ball. How to juggle this new schedule? How to balance her world? How would she manage to fit this one extra piece of the family puzzle together?
“That’s awesome, David”, she exclaimed. “Sounds great!”
David ran back up the stairs with a bounce in his step. It was a big deal to begin working. He had stuck with his efforts to get that job for more than a month. After six visits to see the manager, he had finally been afforded the opportunity for an interview – and then – a job offer. Steel toed boots: $100. Work pants: $50. Hair cut: $30. It was expensive to get a job.
Her mom would have been proud of David. She knew how her mother would have reacted with delight! She had already, most profoundly, most emphatically proclaimed her adoration of David when he was a toddler. She giggled as he took her order, when he played “restaurant”. It was always the same order. “I’ll have a nice, juicy steak with a hot baked potato and sour cream, please. And make sure you don’t over-cook the steak.” And away he went to her kitchen to prepare the fantastic meal. It always arrived quickly back from the kitchen and was “cooked to perfection.” A quick kiss to her fingers was sent through the air to indicate her great content … to then repeat the entire process several more times before David grew tired of the game.
She drew closed the sliding glass door. The wind, for the first time in what seemed months, was cold. It was a relief. She hated the heat. Now, the cold was just a bit too much to take all at once. She reconsidered and opened the door just a crack – just enough to enjoy the refreshing coolness but not enough to throw the family into the deep freeze.
The song of the dishes grew louder. She turned to listen. They weren’t going to wash themselves.
The day had definitely begun.