Welcome to My Morning Finds
How does the morning find you?
I moved to the city for a variety of reasons, many which entailed rooting myself in a diverse community and challenging my beliefs. Also, I’m a prolific walker. Sidewalks offered connection while my curiosity and coffee needs were satiated with each opening day in the city.
People who know me might presume my early mornings originated as a function of living with a spouse whose alarm rang out at 5:30 a.m. (again, again, and again). That’s not entirely true.
I was raised by an army sergeant father and an overly precise mother who was demonical about her household functioning like a Swiss watch. As an Italian American whose family emigrated from Abruzzo where many inhabitants descended from Austrian families (not ours), this precision crept into her children’s daily lives and, to our dismay, sleep schedules too.
Like pillow lava at the edge of basalt cliffs where sea stars cling to the rocks and translucent agates shine on, the morning is where the magic lives.
Morning is where my mind finds me at peace, and my writing of a nature all by itself. Julie Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, writes: “Working with the morning pages, we begin to sort through the differences between our real feelings, which are often secret, and our official feelings, those on the record for public display.”
In the city, the bellman from the Omni Netherland (okay, Omni Hilton) lugs suitcases into cars while waving me down on my fuchsia trail bike. Where Music Hall’s security guard routinely checks the double doors to the concert halls. Where city employees have already cleaned any beer spill or Hot Cheeto mess I am prepared to report on from the night before.
Mornings along the rugged Oregon coast are magical too. While the sun sets along its straight Pacific horizon to close out the day, the dawn wakes and messily slips into its comfortable moccasins to welcome the mist and cloudy thoughts from the night before.
In Walden, Thoreau writes, “The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes that slumbers all the rest of the day and night.”
I like that he calls morning a season. Along the Oregon Coast, my visits are mostly limited to mid-summer or early fall. Seasons of life in which I, the goddess, Aurora, of the dawn, wake before most residents, thanks to the shift in time zones from EST to PT. Certain seasons in which Dungeness crab are freshly harvested. Specific seasons when the negative tides are caused by the pull of a bulbous and raucous moon.
To borrow more from Thoreau, the morning is when my inner music is emitted. To the empty page. To a surprised self. And now, to you.
When I first began walking the urban core before dawn, as light began to slice across buildings or objects in front of me, or creep into dusky corners of an alley, I snapped photos and posted them to Instagram with a #morningfinds tag.
I’ve discovered another kind of morning finds, the ones that arrive after I stepped through the city, along the coast, or out the front door. Welcome to those Morning Finds revealed through writing, about writing, or beneath it.