Love Endures Forever

Feb. 1

Johnny Cash has an album called My Mother’s hymnal.  I look at a few of those old songs and test some but find myself falling down a burning ring of fire.  The flames go higher.  Ring of Fire.

Feb. 2

I notice some of the bulbs are showing their little green heads.  I feel fine looking at these signs of Spring.  It is well with my soul.  With my soul.

Feb. 3

Saturday morning.  Sunrise is coming faster now.  Sometimes it takes me by surprise and I have to sing whatever comes to mind.  Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.  Chanting quietly, softly and moving into the day.

Feb. 4

It’s Lisa’s birthday celebration and we are going to the salt caves.  I am in the kitchen with Terri and we are talking about the salt caves and realize it is time to sing. She starts humming.  “Our house, in the middle of the street…”  On the kitchen counter are flowers in a vase and David Earl is sprawled out across the stove island under the lamp.  We are laughing now as life used to be so hard but now everything is easy ‘cause of you…

Feb. 5

I have a really great memory of Marshall on a zip line.  It was a gift from Saige before she went back to NYC.  She had all her parents there.  Me and Larry, Larry’s girlfriend Courtney and Marshall.  I am terrified of heights but Marshall was not.  Somehow just keeping my eyes on him as we flew over the mountaintop canopy made everything seem alright. 

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird fly

Feb. 6

I miss being silly.  I haven’t been silly in such a long time and even though I can laugh and have fun I miss being playful.  This week is full of dinner with friends and tonight I am having Anne over.  A cowgirl in pearls and boots, raising chickens, reading books and making beautiful things.  She can Contra dance, Swing and shake it to Zydeco.  We have ridden together on Marwari horses across the Punjabi desert.  I am looking forward to seeing her.

There is a song I used to sing to Marshall in the car on our way to eat Tacos.

I asked him once if we could sing it at our wedding.  He pulled a Mahan and said “That’s a good idea”.  If you could hear me you would know I am clearing my throat a little as I look down my glasses to tell you it was not sung at our wedding.   

But when you feel  a little rough around the edges you understand that in spite of yourself you’ll end up a sittin’ on a rainbow.  And against all odds well you’re the big door prize.  You might spite the nose right off your face but then there’s nothing but big ole hearts dancin’ in your eyes.

Feb. 7

I feel the need to dance.  Spring is coming.  I have a memory of Billy St. Pierre getting us all in trouble at a school dance doing the dog.  The nasty dog.  The Atomic Dog.  Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay bow wow yippie yo yippie yah.

Feb. 8

Still feeling the need to dance.  I think it is time to bring Kayne to the party.  I am getting a little off my theme of gratitude but I am having so much fun my heart is grateful.  I think of singing in the car with little Rebekah when she was barely in her 20’s.  Get down girl, go ‘head get down.  Get down girl, go ‘head get down.

Feb. 9

Sometimes I want things I don’t need.  When that happens I just have to let the desire pass through me like a bad meal.  When my son and daughter were small and they couldn’t have what they wanted there was one song I could count on to put it in perspective.

You can’t always get what you want but if you try real hard you just might find you get what you need.

Feb. 10

We have guests staying in the room downstairs and I am whispering my song this morning out the open window of the bathroom.  I feel like I am sneak smoking and I am blowing rings but really I am just quietly singing into the morning tree tops.   It is the song I know by heart Come thou fount of every blessing…

I meet my sister in law Julia at the Owl and we catch up about life, work, love and impregnating goats. Julia is hoping for some goat milk.  She teaches me that there are only 3 days in a 18-21 day cycle that a goat is fertile and only one of those three is she a willing participant in the process of impregnation.  She doesn’t have a male goat and that complicates the process as well.  Artificial insemination is expensive and only a 50% chance of working.  I listen and wish I lived closer to this woman.  I wish I could help her with her goats and chickens and dogs. 

Feb. 11

Carpool Karaoke with Terri and Betsy

It is raining this morning.  Betsy comes to the house to pick us up.  Terri has been working on her Mardi Gras parade costume in which she wears stilts and looks like a very hip big bird.  We get into Betsy’s Subaru and start driving to west Asheville and go down by the river.  We warm up with here comes the sun and then sing about 3 little birds on our doorstep.  We are laughing and sound pretty good.  We sit watching the rain, steaming up the window and catch up.  Day two of pastries at the Owl.

Feb. 12

Tom Waits.  You Can Never Hold Back Spring.  My little crocus buds are showing the smallest amount of purple.  It’s raining but not frigid cold.  I go to a warm yoga class after work and when I come out I see my phone has been blowing up.  One of these calls is from Jeffrey.  I can hear “Oh Canada” in my head and I think of the friendship he and Marshall shared.  We catch up about his and Diana’s time in Spain, the Holidays and then we talk about Hannah’s biking adventure from Vancouver back to her east coast home.  She plans to start on June 13th, the day Marshall passed.  Jeff and Marshall did so many biking adventure together and it was Jeff that was with Marshall when Marshall first saw me on Match.  Just hearing Jeff’s voice makes me smile and remember how much fun Marshall was and how much fun we all had together.  When I tell him about the blog I ask if he has a song for me.

Feb. 13

Raindrops keep falling on my head is Jeff’s request.  Yep.  It has been raining for days now and this is such a perfect song.  Terri and I give it our best, laughing and singing because I’m free and nothin’s worrin’ me” da da, dadadadadadada, da da da da….

After work I teach yoga and then meet up with Beth.  It is hard to keep up with this woman.  She is a petite power house of smart, fun and style.  We meet at Little Jumbo.  Her eyes are always bright and she misses nothing.  She pulls a present out of her purse.  “For you on Galentine’s Day!”  It is a card that is a cut out of Jane Austen.  It comes with sticky phrases that you can pin on Jane like “You have delighted us enough.”  I love this woman.  We are getting to know each other better.  Marshall is the common thread and we talk about when Marshall brought me to their home.  They were the vetting team.  But the part of my life that she knows little about is the time before Marshall.  The time when I was married to another man for 17 years.  The man I had children with and started a business with and wasn’t married to anymore when I met Marshall.  So on Galentine’s Day, this other me, is the person she learns about.



I may be going to hell in a bucket but at least I’m enjoying the ride

Jan. 17

It is snowing.  Let it Snow.

Jan. 18


Terri and I are in the kitchen talking about someone we love very much.  Her name is Maria.  We are talking about her love life.  Then we realize we have talked past sunrise.  It is never too late to sing so we decide on How do we solve a problem like Maria?  How do you catch a moonbeam in your hand?

Jan. 19

I attempt a mash up of I’ll fly away and Down to the River to Pray

Jan. 20 

The Alanator and I have lunch.  Al is a client/friend that I met when I first started my business.  He is now in his 80’s and still the “master of the deal”.  So we talk business and then get down to the grittier subject of life.  He has become the care taker of his wife.  Her health is challenging her quality of life.  We talk about Marshall and where I am in the process of grief.  Al has light blue eyes and I think of Marshall’s deep blue eyes and I think of blue eyes crying in the rain. Because when I am with Al we drive in his BMW with the top down singing Willie and Waylon songs at the top of our lungs.  We both sound awful.  It is so much fun.

So this morning I sing “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” except I replace boys with girls because I feel like maybe I am really a cowgirl deep in my heart of Texas.

Jan. 21

Terri is in Jersey.  Her mother is in a nursing home and when Terri goes home she goes to see her Mama.  Her mama told her she is ready to die.  Not afraid.  Ready to be with Jesus.  Why don’t you just go then Mama?  Because baby, this body is just so damn strong and keeps hanging on.

Hallelujah.  Leonard Cohen.  Betsy and I sing at the lake and Terri sings on the river.

Jan. 22

You’ve got a friend.

Jan. 23 

I’ll be missing you (Puff Daddy’s version)  Yep.  One of those days.

Jan. 24 

In the kitchen with Terri.  I go through the book Saige made me for Christmas and find a song that just feels right.  “Bring it on Home” Sam Cook  Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jan. 25 

What I want to do, is not what I do.  I go to work.  But before I go, I sing “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars.

Jan. 26 

To date or not to date.  That is the question.  I am being asked so I ask myself.  What do I want?  I want to not cry.  No woman no cry.  Cause everything’s gonna be alright.  Yeah.  Everything’s gonna be alright.

Jan. 27 

My day started with this text from one of my favorite peeps, my sweet sister in law Kiran:

Good morning Michelle, my dad is in the hospital this weekend preparing for heart surgery on Monday. I spent the night with him last night and this morning we sat by the window and I told him about your singing. At 7:34 we sang with you. Our song was this little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine. Thank you for bringing us into this light. Love you

Prayers for her Dad and more chanting.  Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. 

*His surgery went well and he is doing great.  2/14/18.

Jan. 28 

It’s Sunday.  This time I go to Betsy and we walk to the big house to sing on the porch.  I am sad because this dating thing is not going so well for me.  In my heart is the Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want” but when I arrive at Betsy’s she tells me we are going to sing The Lonely Goatherd.  Bruno rolls in horse shit.  I tell her what I am feeling and she says well sometimes life is shit.  Then Bruno runs up to me so happy to be covered in it.

Here is my takeaway.  If you need a good laugh go yodel on a porch with your best friend and if you need perspective when you find yourself in shit just imagine you are Bruno and embrace it. 

Jan. 29

Worked all weekend trying to beat my deadline of Jan. 31st.  At the end of the day on Sunday I get a call from Marshall’s business partner.  Sometimes the right person calls at the right time.  We catch up and then he asks me if I am taking requests for songs.  Of course I tell him yes.

He suggests “Ripples” by Jerome Garcia.

I print the lyrics before I go home and fold up the paper in my purse.  Terri has a plate of food waiting for me when I walk in the door.  It’s only 7:30 but I go upstairs and do a little yoga and then fall into bed.

Bruno joins me around 3 am and throws up.  My life feels very messy and I miss the comfort of Marshall.  I can see him holding out his arms to me and I just want to crawl inside.  I clean up from Bruno’s purge and fall back asleep.

I wake a few hours later and start the coffee routine.  I use my phone to set the timer and see a text that came in the middle of the night that confirms what I already knew.  It is not time for me to be with anyone else.

Jan. 30

The days are stretching into the lightness now.  The sun is coming a minute earlier in the morning and a minute later in the evening.  So close to the 31st and still so much work to do.  I need a song to motivate me.  To help me get my game on, be an all star, go play.

Jan. 31

My grandfather is 93.  The last time we visited his Northern Alabama hometown he drove us to a river and told me the story of being dunked and baptized.  His stories were always matter of fact and just slivers into his past.  Sometimes he would think something was funny and laugh.  When my Dad and I would go visit him together we always ended up at a cemetery, reviewing the past.  Now when I visit with him it is because my Dad brings him here.  He is happily fading into the past.  “Your grandmother was such a good woman” he says.  She was, I agree.  We miss her together.  I think of her organ in the living room.  She had a very high voice and would sing old hymnals and sometimes Doris Day songs.  This morning I find a good old church song.  In the sweet by and by.

Changes in Latitude Changes in Attitude


Jan. 5

My daughter, nephew and I went to the beach.  It was still bitter cold.  As we got closer to Topsail Island we slowed for the ice and snow covering the roads.  We arrive to find the front porch a solid 2 inch sheet of ice.  We went to the back door and into the warmth of the loving arms of Marshall’s parents. 

Jan. 6

On the beach we see our first sunrise.  Walton and Saige want to sing “This is the day the Lord has made”.  There is snow, sand and surf.  We are huddled in blankets, coats and ponchos.  Bruno is chasing seagulls. 

Jan. 7

Mahan & I have our drums.  Shortly before sunrise we begin the steady rhythm of what Billy has so faithfully been trying to teach us.  Ba dum dum, ba dum dum, sort of.  Somehow we veer from the warrior inspired Djembe into our own little heartbeat.  The others wake and gather.  It is so cold we decide to stay inside and sing.  “Here comes the Sun”!



Little Darling, it’s all right.

It is more than all right.  It is magical.  There are pelicans diving and dolphins jumping and a spectacular sunrise ensues.  Saige and Walton decide they will take a polar plunge and Mahan and I help them build their will power with drumming and chanting.  We go out with towels and blankets.  Walton goes and Bruno follows and then Saige joins them.

We are all so alive in this moment. 

Inside waits a hot bath for Walton and a hot shower for Saige.  For me there is more coffee and the anticipation of a breakfast that will be nourishing for body and soul.


Jan. 8 

Heart.  Soul of the Sea.  I feel like a magic mermaid.

Jan. 9

In the kitchen with Terri.  We don’t see it but we know it. “Here comes the sun”.

Jan. 10  

Joni Mitchell “Shine”.


Jan. 11

In Scotland there is a lovely woman-child named Lily.  She is a poet and so much more.  I got an email from her and her song of choice.  Together we sang “Cowboy take me away” by the Dixie Chicks. 

Jan. 12

When I first met Marshall I learned that music and song would be a big part of my new families’ gatherings.  Mark, Marshall’s younger brother and his wife Kiran would host Christmas dinners and after the meal there would be singing accompanied by Lee on violin, Mark on guitar and Dan on piano.  My first experience with this came with a little piece of paper in which the words to “Come thou Fount” was printed.  I still have that little piece of paper.  That was one of my all time favorite hymnals.  I love that song.  Somehow that little piece of paper was like a light behind the crack of an open door.  It let me into a family that didn’t know me and that I didn’t know.

Mark and Kiran came and shared dinner with us and stayed in the guest room last night.  First to leave was Kiran for work.  Shortly before sunrise Mark emerged.    We would sing some melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above.  On the back deck we faced east, faced loss, and faced life.  Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it, Mount of thy redeeming love.

Jan. 13

Just a few more weary days and then

I’ll fly away

To a land where joys will never end

I’ll fly away

Saige is leaving soon.  She has a beautiful voice and she keeps encouraging me about mine.  Johnny has come into town and I am so happy to see him and catch up.  It is his birthday and yet he treats us to lunch.  Saige, Johnny and I talk about the past, the art of growing mushrooms, career choices, love and dating and what life has been like for him.  I listen to him give Saige advice and I realize I have known him since he was close to her age.  I am so grateful for his friendship and for this moment.  Lunch is over and Johnny stands to leave.  It is nice to know someday he’ll be back.

Jan. 14

The Avett Brothers understand some days are harder than others.  We can’t be in love like in the movies.  In spite of putting one foot in front of the other I am still in love with a man that is only colors out of reach.  So this sunrise is full of memories of being Swept Away.

Jan. 15 

Cheryl Crow and I Shall Believe.  This morning I got an encouraging email from a friend. She was inspired to rise early and sing too.  I asked her what she sang and she said she just made it up as she went along.  I loved that!

Jan. 16

One of the reasons I started this journey was because of a story Jeanine told me over Thanksgiving.  It is about Alfred Tomatis, a French physician, psychologist and ear specialist, who is famous for having studied how chanting affected a group of French Benedictine monks.  In the late 60’s a new abbot came into the monastery and in an effort to create more efficiency he cut out chanting.  This didn’t go so well for the monks.  They developed illnesses.  Tomatis was called in to find out what was wrong with them.  He believed the monks “had been chanting in order to ‘charge’ themselves.” He then encouraged them to begin chanting again and it was found to be invigorating and healing for the monks.

I could use some of that.  So I sing.

This morning I sing a chant I learned in yoga.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all”.

What’s Love Got to do with It?

Jan. 1

It has been bitter cold here so far this winter.  I have been thinking of the homeless population a lot.  My brother in law works for an outreach program to assist.  As I type this I can hear the wind.  It makes me think about so many of the things I don’t have control over and wish I did.

Yesterday was the last day of 2017.  I did yoga with a friend in the morning.  He talked about how he preferred to set his intentions during the Chinese New Year as it gave him a little time to decide if his intentions were worthy.  I had lunch with my father-in-law and then we went to a drum lesson.  One thing I love about drums is that the skin of a drum starts to vibrate when you approach other drums being played.  It is as if they greet each other in recognition. 

I came home to my housemate Terri getting dressed up for a party.  Simon came by to hang out and while we were walking Bruno he asked me what was the wildest New’s Years I could remember.  What I should have told him was the story about South Africa.  But I didn’t think of it.  Instead I was thinking of all the New Years Evenings that were not wild.  The ones where I was in bed before midnight, warm and happy and waking up to comfort our dog Sam when the fireworks went off, then falling back asleep to the sound of Marshall breathing.

By 11 p.m. I was in bed with Bruno and a book when I got a text with a picture of the Avett Brothers concert where my stepdaughter was with her cousin.  Around midnight I started to get Happy New Year’s texts from friends.  I fell asleep feeling the love.

On the first day on the year I woke up remembering the New Year’s I spent in South Africa.  It begins with my uncle meeting his wife in Hong Kong during a previous Chinese New Year. His version of the story goes something like “I went to a party for work.  I didn’t want to go but when I saw her the evening became much more interesting.  She was beautiful and the fireworks were happening and I knew I loved her immediately”.  I was maybe 19 at the time.  My uncle, 7 years older, had superstar status in my eyes.

She is Afrikaner and when they decided to get married they planned to have the wedding in her home town of Pretoria during New Years.  My grandparents generously decided to buy me a ticket to join them.  I was a college student in Austin and my grandparents lived in Houston.  We would leave shortly after Christmas.

This trip was my first international experience.  On the plane I wrote a letter to a friend recounting my liberal expectations and honestly I went to Africa with a lot of white guilt and self righteous judgement.  But at that time in my life I was too shy to say out loud what was in my head or heart.

Arriving in Johannesburg I felt I had been dropped into one of the most magical places on earth. I was participating in a romantic love story with people I adored.  Apartheid had just lifted and everyone we met took so much hope from the fact that we were Americans and maybe our presence meant that sanctions were going to be lifted and things were going to get better.

My uncle has a thing for trains and the honeymoon was to be a trip aboard the Blue Train leaving from Cape Town and returning to Pretoria.  What I remember is that Cape Town is beautiful.  It is sometimes so windy that if you don’t hold onto something you could be blown off your feet.  You can be in both the cool Atlantic and warm Indian Ocean at the same time.  What I can’t forget is driving by miles and miles of homeless people as far as I could see.

This morning all I wanted to sing at sunrise was Good Morning Heartache by Billie Holliday, so I did.  And for a moment it felt good to be sad and pitiful, just me and heartache sharing coffee together.  This song, so familiar, so full of loss.

Sometimes I think there is only so much pain one can witness and only so much one can bear.  There are miles and miles of unjust and unimaginable evils.  But just when I think I will scream what comes out is something else.  It is a raw unfiltered song, and it is my own.

January 2

So I went down to the River to Pray

January 3

Streams of Mercy , never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise

January 4

I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found, I’ll share this love I find with everyone.

Need A Little Jack A Little Happy Jack

Dec. 26

Jack Johnson that is.  It’s cold and I am singing in my bedroom while I get ready for work.  My lyrics online have been hijacked by some ad from Walmart telling me I have won a thousand dollar shopping spree.  I am doing the best I can from memory to sing along with Mr. Johnson.  I never knew how much I loved this song until I read all the lyrics.  I thought I loved banana pancakes but now I am turning things upside down.

Dec. 27

Upside Down again.  This time I’m on the back deck watching doves eat birdseed off the roof of my neighbor’s little porch.  Sometimes I see her toss the seed out for them.  I am trying to sing quietly so I don’t bother the birds.  I wonder if birds ever try to sing quietly so they don’t bother me?  My sister in law texts me that she sang Morning Has Broken.  “took me right back to my camp days singing that for campers to wake up to”

Dec. 28

Walking uphill with Bruno pulling me along and I am still feeling Jack.  Is this the way its supposed to be?

Dec. 29

I’m in my kitchen making toast.  David Earl is on the counter watching me.  I ask him to teach me some melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above.

Dec. 30

Terri comes in my bedroom and tells me she is ready to go and sing at the statue by Beaver Lake.  We quickly throw on our jackets and hats, put Bruno on leash and dash to the car.  We are driving by a strip mall parking lot when my sunrise alarm goes off so I pull in and park.  We jump out and find east.  We are laughing and singing and sometimes doing the humming thing because we can’t see the lyrics on my phone without glasses.  Please don’t ever go…

Dec. 31

It is Sunday.  Betsy meets me at the park and we talk while we wait for sunrise.  It is overcast and very cold.  Banzen has asked for “Dream On’ by Yusuf and it is short so we decide to sing one more.  I bring a book my daughter made me at Christmas.  It is a collection of song lyrics she has either heard me sing or knew I would like.  There is one song that makes me laugh and is perfect for just me and Betsy.  I know my daughter picked it because she has seen us dance and sing this song while cooking together at the beach.  Oh Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart, you’re shaking my confidence daily.  I’m down on my knees and I’m begging you please to come home.  Come on home.

Like the love that let us share our name

December 25

Bruno wakes me, cold nose against my hand.  I am in bed, in a cabin by a lake.  My daughter, young adult now, is sleeping peacefully beside me.  I hear her breathing.  Bruno will have none of it.  He gives a little whine.  His tail is thumping.  I don’t need to find a clock to know it is around 5 a.m.  A dog is a better time keeper than any electronic device.

Along my way to the door I find a coat but no shoes.  There is a cold brew of Mexican coffee waiting for me in the car.  Bruno and I both go out barefoot and paw.

I return to my room to find the laptop.  My daughter wakes enough to say “Merry Christmas” and then tell me she will sing with me if I don’t want to sing alone.  I tell her we’ve got hours before sunrise.  “Good” she says as she burrows back down.  With coffee and laptop I find my way to a corner of the kitchen where I make a little space for myself on the floor.

Here I am.  This is now.  This morning’s text comes from my Father.  “Merry Christmas to my favorite daughter”… I am his only daughter.  He doesn’t know about this discipline of gratitude through song but today I will sing for him.  What song? My Girl by The Temptations.

It is an interesting thing to me that a bird can harmonize with itself.  It is because they have a syrinx, a double voice box.  I am thinking about this when my sister in law joins me in the kitchen.  We have coffee together.  We are here.  This is now.  We talk about our sons and daughters and we talk about who is not here, but really is.

My family gathers on the back porch leaning into each other’s warmth and looking at the words of Smokey Robinson on the laptop.  We sing and in my heart there is the knowledge that there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.

Let’s start at the very beginning, A very good place to start

December 20

Practice day.  Singing in the rain as I walk Bruno around Beaver Lake.  Come thou fount of every blessing.  Favorite cover is Sufjan Stevens.

December 21

It’s the solstice and official day one with Betsy at her house, in the dark. We are walking to the apple orchard with the dogs.  She is worried we won’t get a spectacular sunrise because we are above the horizon, surrounded by mountains. For us, the sun won’t break into the sky at the official time of 7:36. If we really wanted to see the sun, we would have to wait and watch until it crawled above the mountains. She has a metal plate in her shoulder that is a holding her bones and muscles in place as they heal.  We talk about pain and how it is something to endure but how tired it makes a person.

What song will we sing?  Morning has broken by Cat Stevens of course.

What I hear is Betsy’s voice singing.  I hear myself too.  I am trying to keep up and stay on key but only the smile comes through.  Isn’t it funny how you can hear a smile?

Something about this pushes into the pain.  Breath, and the space between the breath.  This is our life dance, teasing death.  We are choosing this moment fully.  I love my friend.

December 22

I am at the old Capital Building with Bruno.  We hear loud sounds of construction, sirens and city workers.  Also little birds in bushes.  What song have I chosen?  Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  What surprised me were the tears and the shame of crying in a public place.  I turn my back to the city and sing into a parking lot.  Then I am finished with my sweet song, melody pure and true.

December 23

Woke to a text from Simon.  He’s on the road driving north and will join me in the car.  What song?  Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.  I am at my kitchen table and can see the light coming.  David Earl is between me and the computer as I type this.  I can face east on my back porch and will go out and sing in exactly 10 minutes.  7:36 a.m.

December 24

Banzen.  This day is for Banzen.  30 years ago in the hallways of Pinewood Elementary is where I met a boy that brought a hurt bird to school in a shoebox.  His text of Merry Christmas is what brings me to the time of 7:04.  This morning I have a crew that wants to join.  I ask Banzen what song he would like for us to sing?  Peace Train by Cat Stevens.  And so it will be.

Wake Up

Early risers.  The birds, the sun and me.  I wake up and begin my day with the process of the french press.  I like the sound of click when I turn on the electric tea kettle.  There is just enough time to let Bruno out to pee before the second click.  If you are a coffee drinker you know the allure of the aroma.    The anticipation of the hotness and the feeling of being AWAKE that comes with the first few sips.  There is another thing I like about the process.  The exactness of a 4 minute brew.  I set a timer.  Sometimes I count it out, taking pleasure in the predictable nature of time.

I also set a timer for sunrise.  It is the thing I do after I have a sip of the brew.  I look at my weather app on my phone and see the exact time of sunrise and then open my timer and set it.  It changes about a minute every day.  This is a two-fold pleasure for me.  I love the predictable nature of the sunrise and I love the technology that allows me to test the exactness of that predictable event.

I haven’t always done this.  For most of my life I have simply taken pleasure in the beauty of a sunrise when I happened to notice it.  But things are different now.

Now I want to get up and find a reason to be like the birds and sing.  What better reason than sunrise?  I am not a singer.  In fact I don’t have a good voice at all.  While singing in church Doug Clarke smiled at me and said “what we lack in skill we make up for in enthusiasm”.

And so it is with enthusiasm I will sing.  Every morning for a year at sunrise.  It will be songs of gratitude.  I invite you to join me.