There is something special about “day off” mornings. After a game of convince and compromise, I finally yield to the nudges of the doodle nose and the sleepy pleas from my husband and make my way downstairs. Thankfully, the signs of Spring have come again and the morning is warm enough to navigate the backyard in only shorts and a baggy sweatshirt. Unlike most days, I get to curl back up in bed after letting our goldendoodle Elsie reply to the calls of nature.
Mornings like this are meant for lazy snuggles and reading in bed till the absolute last moment when we both know it’s time to get up. “Day off” mornings are an exquisite exception that I yearn for, carrying their own rhythm to drum out the hurried sounds of daily routine. Deep breaths come naturally and soft, as the schedule that rules the rest of the week floats away on a cloud of busy. The make-up brushes take a much needed rest, while the nocturnal pair of glasses get a call to join the wild curls for a day of play.
“Day off” mornings allow for memories and thoughts, that are constantly rescheduled, have the freedom to roam and remind. There is a strong, yet tender love that I have for these hallowed mornings, and their uncanny ability to let the day bring what it will rather than being told what the it can bring.
This morning was no different.
I usually have to fill my days off with mixture of ‘need to’ and ‘want to’, but not today. After goodbye, “have a great day” kisses have been replaced with the warm compliments of the smell and taste of coffee, I heard a calling from our bookshelf that is rarely heard, or just ignored. It’s as if faux wood case knew I had finished my time with another in bed this morning, and that I would be vulnerable to the enticing pages of something new.
As I reached for a new companion to engage with my liquid of life and I, what I found was an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Turning the pages to remind me of her tale, a large bookmark falls to the floor, and is quickly noticed by the goldendoodle eye for mischief. After snatching the lost paper from the grips of doodle shredding, a “day off” memory begins to form. For on the narrow page marker is the name of a place I most certainly considered a home. A place that, in the midst of moving and the grand adventure of searching for an identity, I found guidance and a reignited love for reading. A place that gave me friends to spend my time with, to learn from and to remind me that friendship begins with being friends with yourself.
In short, a home.
Almost 20 years later, I still need to be reminded.