Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Mornings are rather like the description of one's state of mind - a changing but relentless account. Their repetitive frequency affords an historical insight into the entirety of one's life.  Normally I wouldn't think to dwell upon the seemingly mundane subject.   But today's enthusiasm is so uplifting that it has prompted me to expatiate. This morning is one of those ideal summer mornings - blue sky, dazzling yellow sunshine, balmy temperature, nothing pressing on the agenda and a comfortable feeling about recent provocations.

Whether I would have said otherwise if events were different, I shall never know. The fact is that I acquired a certain regimentation to mornings when I attended boarding school from the age of 14 years.  There was a decidedly harsh alarm every morning at seven o'clock.  It was quite impossible to ignore its intention.  If  one sought to linger under the covers for a prolonged nap it was assured that the resident Prefect or House Captain would encourage otherwise.  In keeping with my customary impatience I regularly dashed to the showers before others. To this day I cannot begin my day without a proper shower.  In those days it may even have been preceded by fifty push-ups on the creaking wooden floors (a youthful performance I have long since abandoned - though I continue to be persuaded by the necessity of a daily bicycle ride).  In my youth my only recollection of mornings is the temporal imperative - combined with what was a pressing timetable (classes, team sports, cadet training, evening studies and any other outing that may have been organized).  There was no debate whatsoever about the legitimacy of routine from start to finish.

When I studied Philosophy at Glendon Hall for my undergraduate degree my drill remained much the same. There was invariably an early morning class to attend; and the afternoons were consumed in study.  That routine continued into my law school days in Halifax.  Generally speaking my awakening each day was marked by resolve and duty; any contradictory disposition would have been unthinkable.  This laudable habit has echoed throughout my existence - though the success at initiating the morning procedure has since diminished.  Now for example I frequently find myself hesitating to remove myself from the lair. The reason is predominantly the result of arthritis and neuropathy - not the most engaging alternatives for springing into action. Indeed before I've had the effect of the first two Tylenol pills in the morning, the day's beginning is rather more challenging than I'd prefer.

There were times in my past when the start of the day was indisputably unpleasant.  This unflattering description applies to hangovers. When practicing law I never drank alcohol during the day.  But the allure of the evening martini was not lost on me.  That and Jane Austen and a roaring fireplace. From what I recall I never missed an evening meal (the so-called assurance that the sins of alcohol would be magically absorbed). Yet the next morning wasn't always as clear headed or as painless.  One might reasonably assume that the absence of alcohol in later life would somehow have removed this misfortune - but sadly the arrival of old age has but added another layer of discomfort to the matutinal processes.

So you see why I extol today's aurora! What has also insinuated my euphoria is the knowledge that I will this morning conclude a much-anticipated negotiation. And - to be shamefully frank - the bathroom weigh scales gave a favourable reading even after last night's indulgence in Tarte au Sucre and vanilla ice cream!  One must be thankful for these occasional triumphs!

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