Writer’s Block: Morning Rituals

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

I’ve never been a morning person. Try as I might, no matter how many alarms I set, how loudly I set them, or how early I go to bed the night before, it’s always a chore to drag myself out of bed in the morning.

It’s not that I don’t like mornings. I love them! I love the particular quality of light those first golden rays of sunshine have at the start of the day. Ostensibly, that same kind of light should bookend the day just before sunset, weather permitting, yet, somehow, that morning light remains wholly different.

Maybe it’s the newness of the day in general. Cooler night temperatures and the condensation of dew seem to scrub the air clean, making mornings simply smell better to me, too. Everything seems sharper, clearer, more vibrant during the morning compared to any other time of day.

So you see, I do appreciate morning time, but as anyone who knows me can tell you, I am not the most pleasant person to talk to first thing in the morning. It takes me a while to shrug off the cobwebs of sleep and to persuade my brain to shift into a higher gear —to start thinking, in other words.

My dad has never been that way, though. For as long as I can remember, my dad has always been awake even before the first chirp of his alarm clock sounds. I can’t recall him looking tired or unprepared as he set about getting ready for the day.

I have childhood memories of him walking through the house slowly waking up each of us kids in turn before heading to the kitchen to start the coffee pot for my mom. The smell of Folgers would inevitably kick start my neurons, too.

I haven’t always liked coffee, but now it’s a pretty indispensible part of my day. Even so, once I acquired a taste for it, I was always prone to drinking it whenever a craving struck me, usually in the afternoons. Yet I’ve started noticing something now that I’m older. I’ve adopted my dad’s habit of getting a pot of coffee going just as soon as I can shuffle into the kitchen. His morning ritual has become my own.

I’m still not the best morning person, but the a.m. jolt of java certainly helps. And thinking back to how it always seemed to be my dad preparing a pot of coffee for my mom, I’ve realized maybe I’ve just been taking after her all these years.

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