I love Sundays. Waking just before dawn as the birds begin the occasional chirrup, I slip out from under the warmth of the covers and head downstairs. These mornings are blissful, the quiet solitude that encompasses these early hours. I sip sweet Assam tea with the dog resting his head on my bare feet. Despite watching the garden intently, I still seem to miss the moment it turns from dark to light, as I seem to every morning. In the blink of an eye, the shadows disappear, replaced by thin, watery light. The birds dance on the patio, the way they always do. The hens take tentative steps from their coop, ruffling feathers and scratching for worms.
These moments never last long. They are broken by children untangling themselves from sleep and beginning the day. The boys don’t take time to adjust to a new day. As soon as their feet hit the ground in the morning, they’re rooting through the cupboard for cereal, or heaving the Lego box down from the shelf. Within half an hour the table is covered with drawings of the Avengers and the Power Rangers. Hands are covered in ink stains. Milk is drying in sticky pools on the worktop. The dawn chorus is strong and loud now.
And then, like a whirlwind, they are gone. They watch half an hour of Sunday morning cartoons leaving me in peace once again to drink yet more tea and let the dog out to disturb the birds.
These familiar family rituals that are so ingrained in our days remind me of just how lucky we are. The comfort, the security, the safety of what is known. As the kettle reaches boiling point, and the dog scratches at the door to be let in, the first patch of sun rises, illuminating a small patch on the patio. The clouds are shifting East and the sky is a beautiful blue. A solitary streak covers the sky, the condensation trail from an early morning plane.
It’s going to be a good day.