Camano Island


BY ERIN LAVERY

Photo by Steve Douglas on Unsplash

I wake before the sun.
The warmth of the covers leave my body and I walk into the cold and the dark.
My hands wrap around my mug and it fills with hot coffee.
If I had woken when I had planned, the steam would be rising from the cup,
But it’s not.
For a moment, it’s just me in the silence and the cold and the dark-
reminding myself that it’s almost morning.

Then, I hear my son’s feet touch the wooden floor three rooms down.
He loves the morning in a way I can’t understand.
For years, I have tried to wake early enough to get a head start on day
Before others are awake and need me.
He, in his innocence, has taken this as an invitation to spend quiet moments with me.
He lays in his bed, listening for my own feet to touch the ground so he can come and find me.

Some mornings, when I am bold enough to stay asleep longer than usual,
I wake to the sound of gentle knocking.
Then, a small voice breaks through the sound of his tiny fist against the door.
“Mom, you slept in on accident.”
It’s never an accident.

But in spite of my longing for a quiet
That belongs to only me,
perhaps these days are the best I’ll ever know.
These days are without any moments to wonder whether
I am making good use of this very short
Window of time I have on this planet.
Instead, it is just me and the cold and the dark

And the little man who loves me more
Than the warmth of his bed.

He sits at the table beside me now, pulling out the marshmallow bits from the cereal box.
I pretend not to notice, gazing to my right
Through the wall of windows overlooking Livingston Bay.
The sun is rising in the distance-
Running toward our sky to join us.

By Erin Lavery

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