Quiet Morning Splendor

Morning Light in my Sanctuary

Morning Light in my Sanctuary

We must reserve a little back-shop,all our own, entirely free, wherein to establish our true liberty and principal retreat and solitude.

Montaigne

The coffee seems to taste better than usual, morning light is flooding my study, in the background Enya sings “Caribbean Blue,” bringing back soulful memories of the Oregon coast twenty-three summers ago, when I was studying Emerson, Thoreau and Fuller’s writings. I’m filled with rapture, having this quiet space after such a busy flurry of recent weeks. In my reading, I came across the following childhood memories recorded by Bernard Berenson:

In childhood and boyhood this ecstasy overtook me when I was happy out of doors. Was I five or six? Certainly not seven. It was a morning in early summer. A silver haze shimmered and trembled over the lime trees. The air was laden with their fragrance. The temperature was like a caress. I remember–I need not recall–that I climbed up a tree stump and felt suddenly immersed in Itness. I did not call it by that name. I had no need for words. It and I were one.

I know that experience intimately. Being the oldest among my siblings, I know I was five, because my brother was barely one when we lived in a house near Byrnes Mill in rural House Springs, Missouri. There was no neighborhood. Dad was at work. Mom had to take care of the baby and clean house. I spent much time outdoors. I still remember the coolness of the winds (must have been Spring or Fall) and the noise they made when they ruffled the fringes of the Davy Crockett buckskin jacket I wore. I made up episodes as I wandered the garden, the yard, and even ventured beyond the fence to visit a cow resting in someone’s distant pasture. I couldn’t get to her because I came across a deep gorge filled with fallen trees. By then, she was standing anyway, so I would have been too intimidated to approach her. But I still remember a stirring Presence, and the notion that I was not alone. And that Presence was much more real than the imaginary cowboys who rode with me, or the Indians who fought me. I still remember lying on my back and staring into those rich cumulonimbus clouds towering above, wondering what lingered behind them, gazing down on me, aware of everything I was doing. This has to be among my richest of childhood memories.

By the time I got into public school, having never lived in a neighborhood filled with children, I did not really know how to relate to my classmates. That got a little better as I grew up, but not much. I spent most of my growing up keeping to myself, and in that solitude I experimented with art and finally developed a love for reading. Little doubt these are reasons for my finding such deep contentment with quiet mornings such as this.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember. 

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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