Thursday, April 20, 2017:
My cell phone alarm went off at 5:30 am. I swiped it off, rolled over, and went back to sleep. An hour later, I awoke. This time I swung my legs over the edge of the bed. I didn’t want to waste an opportunity to take my mat and find a spot on the park grounds to get in a morning meditation. I quickly dressed in my comfy black sweatpants, light gray sweatshirt, then headed out. I decided to go to the Fu Dogs garden, a wide expanse of grassy area guarded on both sides by cobalt blue ceramic Fu Dogs, statues whose features are a blend of a Pekingese pug dog and the long-haired lion dog. I’ve always loved the whimsy of the Fu Dogs.
The ground was wet from a heavy dew, and the cold against my bare feet helped wake me up. The sun was still low behind the trees. I found a spot between two cedar trees just before reaching the Fu Dogs. It felt private, and if others were up and about, walking the Fu Dogs garden, they wouldn’t feel as if they might be disturbing me. Mat unrolled and laid out, I settled in, resting my left calf on top of my right calf. I set my cell phone timer for fifteen minutes then laid my hands gently on my knees, closing my eyes.
Clear, melodic birdsong along with the sweet scent of lilac carried me to the fifteen minutes. What a gift to be a part of the morning awakening.
Before I packed up, I captured several minutes of birdsong on my phone recorder. My hope is to import the music to my computer and create a loop of song to use for my morning meditations. And it will remind me of the time I was granted this April morning, surrounded by beauty and calm.
I returned to my room, readied for breakfast (during which I could hear the guy in the next room over peeing, which made me wonder if he could hear me peeing), then made my way to the dining hall. Every item set out for breakfast was carbs or sugar: French toast, oatmeal, raspberry yogurt, assorted fruits, and muffins. I opted for the yogurt, thinking it at least had some protein in it, but after just a few spoonfuls, the sugary overtones were more than I could take. I’m so used to plain yogurt that sweetened makes my jaw ache. Thankfully there was plenty of decaf coffee. No one but me seemed to be drinking it. Everyone else was going for regular coffee, so much so, that I watched several people return to the coffee decanter only to find it empty. Their shoulders visibly slumped with disappointment.
*Note: I am in the process of converting the recording to a format which can be uploaded here. If I can make this happen, I will share the beauty.
*Note 2: This same day, I received the email I've been waiting for. I have been awarded promotion: Distinguished Professor. Pending Board approval, of course. I've never heard of the Board denying anyone promotion, so I'm hoping this trend continues.