One thing that I've missed since the beginning of the pandemic is my sense of morning routine. It's a small thing, I know; I've learned over the last 18 months just how adaptable I really am. Things I felt were essential to my happiness aren't as critical anymore.
I used to go places in the morning. My own little cathedrals. A diner, a coffee shop. A place where I could sit awhile, alone, and read a book, write a bit in a journal, maybe log a few words on a project. These things were special to me; they felt necessary to my having a good day, or a productive one. We all used to have things like this, I think. We've all been learning to do without, or identifying what we can't.
For the last little while I've been waking early, and sitting at the dining table with my things: One of the handful of books I'm reading; my journal and fresh pencils; an iPad, on which I do most of my novel writing these days. I raise the accordion blind on the window, and daylight floods the room. Sometimes it takes me a little while to get started. Sometimes I just look out the window at all the trees I can see from up here, at the horizon line way out there, at the shape of this mountain or that one, at the sun reliably rising.
This morning the sky is faded orange, the horizon is cottony and indistinct, and the sun is a flat red circle. There are fires out there, far from here, where I can't see them.