Since my retirement, I have rediscovered an event that I hadn't paid particular attention to since puberty - morning. When I was a teen, morning either was something I slept through or spent at school trying to accomplish the same. During my working life, I was too busy to notice it what with plans for the day, worries to mull over or just plain lack of interest in comparison to all the other adult perceptions of life.

Now I have the time and desire to fully appreciate this glorious time of day, unhindered by imminent deadlines and blessed by a tranquility known only to those of us who have gone the distance without serious mishap. As my wife still teaches and departs the house at some Godforsaken hour just prior to the subject of this commentary, I am left to discover the day in my own, personal manner.

To many, evening is the premier period of their day as it represents in a visual manner the downing of tools, and the time to relax and prepare for a restful sleep. At my age I am suspicious of this event as I can never be sure what might grab me when my guard is down, like perpetual sleep. The simile is too vivid for my liking. Also, evening and the subsequent sunset are easy to monitor with the gradual diminishing of light and structured human responses. Morning on the other hand seems to sneak up on you. It just arrives without any fanfare. Suddenly you notice it is there and a new day is ready for your participation.

The wash of morning light has a cathartic effect on the mind. Some problems that seemed insurmountable the previous evening now have solutions that are so easy as to make one wonder what all the fuss was about. There is a fresh, new confidence generated in oneself; a cleansing of the soul patterned after the bright, clean morning freshened by the dew and first sunbeams. The sense of well-being and thankfulness is almost overwhelming. Perhaps God is saying, "Here is a brand new slate. Now try again!"

Take a close look at the start of the day and you will be amazed. There is so much detail that we miss in the hurry-burly existence we lead. First, there is the serenity. Usually, the morning starts out with nary a wayward breeze to muss your hair. It's just as if Mother Nature is catching her breath. In summer, the silence is only broken by the muttering of birds and bugs, busy about their business. The early morning dew on the grass looks as though elves spread diamonds during the night. Each flower is bejeweled in a necklace of shimmering water droplets, sparkling in a myriad of rainbow hues. Leaves shine as if polished by some invisible hand. The air has a clarity only found at this special time, ripe with promise, full of expectancy. In winter, the outdoors becomes a crystal palace, sparkling with an intensity that dazzles the beholder. Trees and branches are festooned with snow and ice in a variety of decorations only nature could produce.

Sure there are some mornings that don't meet the criteria I've described, but that's just God's way of making us appreciate the ones that are. I know that many of you are complaining that you just don't have the time. Well, make the time! Take it from me, life's too short to waste it chasing the dollar. Heaven knows, you may not get another chance!


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