West Virginia Morning: Gathering Light





The summer storms these past few days have left us waterlogged and droopy. This morning the air is heavy with moisture and the Queen Anne’s Lace in the meadow collects the memory of rain. I tiptoe through the sodden grass in flip-flops, try not to disturb the family of House Wrens in the nesting box. The day begins with thousands of drops of light, dripping from leaf and bole. The grass is littered with yellow leaves from the Walnut tree, tiny boats sailing this wet land. I watch a baby rabbit disappear through a door of bending grasses.

It’s been a while since I’ve welcomed morning this way.

I feel my spirit quicken within me; my eyes begin to open fully. So many days lately I’ve been sleepwalking through life. Too many things on the to-do list and there is never enough time. I’ve let that list become too big again, gotten lost in the checking off the items. This is a danger I live with constantly: I lose myself easily.

But this morning I promise to only lose myself in beauty, get lost in time. At first if feels like swimming underwater, awkward, muted. But my body remembers quickly. It just takes practice. Practice. Yesterday I listened to an audio book by Clarissa Pinkola Estés—that esteemed cantadora who woos my heart with story. She talked about that word, practice. She said how sad it is that it has come to mean “to do the same thing over and over” in our world. She shared an old Latin word that is a synonym for “practice.” This word means, “to sing aloud in order to remain close to.”

éYes. That’s my kind of practice.

I begin to hum quietly as I search for light.

Welcome, Morning, I sing. Welcome.


  1. says

    Ah, the perfect reminder to stop and listen and be in the moment. Perfect timing for those of us sleepwalking through this summer with a never ending list we think we need to accomplish. Thanks, Laura. I need to keep practicing too.

  2. says

    So lovely, Laura. I especially love your word painting in the first paragraph. Queen Anne’s Lace “collecting memory of rain.” Yellow leaf boats… Mm… Beauteous. 🙂

  3. Paula Gamble says

    Aww, yes! I’m so glad you wrote this post, Laura! I want to practice believing Truth by singing it aloud! Maybe the more I sing it, the words will make their home in my heart!

  4. says

    Laura, you never fail to move me with your poetic prose. I love the vivid descriptions here that hook my mind in the moment, a visual hanging lantern of light and feast for the soul. These words deserve to be a mantra all by themselves: ” I promise to only lose myself in beauty, get lost in time”, because they are open invitation to taste grace before we get lost in the world’s ways. This is a season of withdrawal for me, a pulling back in order to rest, recoup, recover and become renewed. I will let this lovely imagery linger long in my weary mind. Thank you, friend. xo

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