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Morning has broken.  (Groundhog Day)
  1. a service of morning prayer in various churches, especially the Anglican Church.
    • a service forming part of the traditional Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, originally said (or chanted) at or after midnight, but historically often held with lauds on the previous evening.
      the morning song of birds.


~an excerpt from Morning Prayer Poem by John O’Donohue

Somewhere, out at the edges, the night
Is turning and the waves of darkness
Begin to brighten the shore of dawn

The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light,
The heart fills with fresh, bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to color.

I arise today

In the name of Silence
Womb of the Word,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of the Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.

(You can find the rest of this beautiful poem here.)

Over the trees at the back of the pond.

The main thing is this — when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands.  You must do this every morning.

~ Grace Paley

My morning practice starts with dropping in and listening.  Dropping into my body and asking, “What do you need today?” and dropping into my heart and listening.  I think the heart knows our questions without having to ask, but there are days a question, a feeling, a picture, a bhav or bhava might arise.  Sometimes the only thing that arises is Please.  Please what?  I don’t always know.  There are days when it’s obvious, days when it’s vague, and days when it is only a please.  It’s almost a form of metta and of poetry.

May I
May I please
Please may I
May we
May we please
Please may we
May all
May all please
Please may all

Reading it that way, I question who it is I/we/all might be trying to please in the phrase “may I please.”  It all depends on emphasis and how you read it, doesn’t it?

The morning crow flying by.

We have had some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets lately.  The sunrise, as you might recall, is also part of my morning practice (just as sunset is part of my evening practice).  In a kind of Morning Pages fashion, I’ve started writing about the sunrise again on Instagram.  Little bits of what the morning is like in the form of words.  It is a writing practice but it also feels like an offering or a gift of the morning that I’m sharing with others.  It reminds me of long ago, when the internet was brand new, and we got together in chat rooms (anyone else remember IRC?).  I formed a little group, all of us in various places around the world sharing what our sunrise was like that morning.  There was something magical about being able to see, in words, the sunrise through the eyes of someone else who was experiencing it at a different time and in their own way.  (For those that don’t know, it’s where the word “maidin” that I use in my email address comes from.  Short version:  “maidin” is Irish gaelic for “morning.”  It is pronounced as MA-jin.)

What the morning fog looks like in winter when it settles on the needles of a loblolly pine.

Today we’re awaiting the cold front and storms that brought ice, snow, rain, and tornadoes to parts of the country west of us.  I think they’ve named it Landon.  Whatever the name, it’s made a mess of things in various places.  Back in the Bogs, where I used to live (that would be NE Ohio), they received rain, then ice, and lots and lots of snow.  I imagine the Little Wookie and the Little Peanut will have a great time today using the snow gear they got at Christmas.  I hope they build a snowman or a snow fort.

An icy fog.

Our snow has melted for the most part.  I can still find little patches of it here and there in the woods and the shady spots that never see the light of the sun.  It’s been quite warm for the past few days.  Warmer still this morning (around 62°F).  There was quite an energy stirring outdoors this morning with the warmth, the humidity, the purplish clouds, and the wind.  Invigorating, powerful, almost uplifting.  Today’s warmth and rain ought to take care of any remaining snow.  Perhaps, if we’re lucky, we’ll get some new snow.  It doesn’t seem likely.  Our forecast is rain and more rain, perhaps changing over to ice and snow at the last minute before it sweeps out of here.  The heavy rain will make it nearly impossible for any snow to stick.

Frosting the back of the pond.

I’m going to leave it at that for now.  The next thing I want to write/post about would turn this into a rather lengthy tome.  It would be better to do it as a separate blog post.  There is probably no point in meeting out at the Point or the dock for sunset this evening.  The experts in such matters have declared it will be raining well into the evening, possibly overnight.  If the temperature doesn’t drop too much, I might go out there anyhow just to stand at the edge of the water and feel the elements of wind and rain.  Sunset is scheduled for 5:29 PM.  I guess it doesn’t really matter what time I go since we won’t be able to see the sunset.  So, if you’d like to join me, let me know.  I’ll meet you out there at a time convenient for you.

Please be safe, be well, and take a little time to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors (even it means just looking out a window).

Holly berries in the woods where the great-grandmother cedar lives.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,966)  Holly berries showing off their pop of red in the shadows of the woods.  1,967)  Standing outside at sunrise this morning enjoying the feel, taste, scent, and song of the wild wind.  1,968)  Funky Fridays and dance parties in the living room.  (Visit to listen in between 4 and 7 PM Eastern time.)  1969)  Marco Polo video app and being able to watch and listen to my grandsons as they sing and play.  1970)  Reaching the 1970’s.  😀

Wednesday’s pretty sky and clouds.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

23 thoughts on “Matins

  1. It sounds like you already have a deep morning listening practice. Perhaps you don’t need to buy the Julia Cameron book after all. Looking out the window right now and appreciating the longer light each evening…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m appreciating the longer light, too, Kathy. It’s nice to see the sun rising earlier and setting later. Even though I’m fond of winter, it’s nice to have the longer periods of daylight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post, Robin. I enjoy the quotes, always the pictures, your observations and your wisdom. I appreciate every word written by John O’Donahue. He left us quite a legacy of blessings. We have enjoyed the rain here…washing away almost all of the January blanket. Seems appropriate for the year of the Tiger in the water element. Mercury goes direct today and the rain washes and cleanses. A wonderful day indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. ♥ The water element seems to be the theme lately, saturating everything. So true about John O’Donohue. I am thankful that we have his words and blessings. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The snow we got in this last ‘storm of the century’ was beautiful. IT’s still very pretty, stuck on tree branches and pine and spruce and shrubs and in beautiful drifts across the yard. Part of the beauty, of course, is that I didn’t have to drive in it at all. Retirement is such a good thing in so many ways. I read your words and think how much you would enjoy playing in the snow with your grandchildren. I hope someday you get to live close enough to them full time so that when these magical times come around you can all be together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. I hope so too. 🙂 I would very much enjoy playing in the snow with the boys. We did get to do that last spring when we had a good snowstorm during our 6 weeks there in April-May. We had a blast sledding, building a snowman, and having snowball fights. I think you’re right about being able to appreciate snow more when you don’t have to drive in it.


  4. 62º sounds like a dream to me! Our temps hovered around/above freezing all night, raining, then sleet at mid-day and now snow at the end of the day as the temps drop. It has been a weird winter… I remember when all we used to get was snow… quite different in recent years.
    I did go out for a meditative walk late morning. The stream was rushing and the river was in full spate, all the 6″ of ice swept away. With below freezing temps forecast the next few days, it’ll go back to building ice again. Winter is never boring! 😉
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How true, Eliza. Winter is never boring at all. 🙂 We’ve been up and down with the temps since I last posted. It’s cold today but we’ll be hovering near 70° by Thursday or Friday. We’re in the roller coaster phase of winter now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful, soulful post. Really loved the poem, and I am inspired by how you greet each day. We got the snow you were longing for, and our yard looks like a winter wonderland. Hope you get another good snowfall.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful, as always, Robin. I don’t have any sort of formal practice, but I love early morning and seeing the sunrise, and then seeing the sunset, too.
    I’d forgotten about Freaky Friday, though I listen to Sleepy Hollows sometimes on weekend mornings.
    I particularly like the icy fog photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t know that “maidin” is Irish Gaelic for “morning.” What a beautiful adaptation for your email address and photography id. Love the photo of the morning fog frozen to the loblolly pine needles. I also like the idea of asking my body, first thing in the morning, what it needs today. I’m going to try that, thanks, Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barbara. 🙂 It’s been an interesting practice (asking my body what it needs today). I don’t always like the answer, but it’s usually right.


  8. What a lovely, peaceful post, Robin! I especially enjoy how you greet each new day. Did you say 62 degrees?? Oh, my, that would be heavenly! We haven’t reached the freezing point in ages. Snow is fun when you’re a kid, but the older I get, the more winter wears on me. I can see I either need to accept it for what it is, or decide where I want to move to, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debbie. 🙂 I feel the same way about summer. The heat and humidity wear me down. I’m working on acceptance but then one of those REALLY hot days comes along and I have to start over. lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It blows my mind how you can get a decent quantity of snow one day and a week later, none is left. What is up with that?
    As always, your photos are divine and thanks for sharing the origins of Maidin! Love your morning and evening practices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale. 🙂 Our winters are not consistently cold here so a good snow might not last more than a few days. This week is a good example. It was 14°F when I got up this morning and will be near 70°F in a couple of days. Crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good grief!! I don’t know if it’s me or if it really is the case, but it feels like this winter has been colder than it has in a long time. Or I’ve just become a wimp.


        1. It’s been colder here than it has been in a long while. We’ve had more snow than usual, too. It’s just that we get warm-ups in between (and that is pretty typical for this area).

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a sense that O’Donohue’s poem is rooted — to one degree or another — in a classic of Christian devotion: the so-called Breastplate of St. Patrick. Written c. 433 AD and attributed to St. Patrick, it was a Lorica for protection for travel, and for life.. I was introduced to it via the Anglican hymnal, but my favorite version is this one. I listen to it every morning.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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