I hope this note finds you well.
As I get older, simple pleasures have assumed a more important role in my life. Each morning I am up at 5:00 AM, a ritual for most of my life. As a child, life on the rice farm began early. We headed for the fields by daybreak and the work day ended when the sun went down. These days my first act of the day is to tend to the needs of our two cats. We have a routine. I measure out their allotment of food, and while they eat, I clean out their litter. Soon I open the door, and they head out into the darkness to hunt.
Once they are fed and out the door, I assume the position in my well-worn recliner with a cup of hot coffee and a bowl of Ramon noodles. It’s hard to say what I enjoy the most about this time of day.
The first cup of coffee in the morning is one of those pleasures that represent one of the first sense memories in the recesses of my brain. Dad was always the first one up in the morning. His first act was to turn the burner on the coffee pot he had prepared the night before. While he took a quick shower and shaved, the coffee pot slowly began to brew.
I’m not sure which woke me up first, the sound of the hot coffee bubbling up through the glass percolator or the smell of the coffee as it filled the room and then made its way under the door to my bedroom. Dad made his coffee strong and to this day I still love a dark, rich, cup of black coffee unadorned with cream or sugar.
A small bowl of noodles in the morning cooked in hot water, hot enough to steam my glasses, is next on my list of early morning pleasures. There is something very satisfyingly simple about noodles; filling but not overwhelming. Now, don’t any of you try to tell me that Ramon noodles are bad for me; the fact is I really enjoy the taste.
The early morning has something that no other time of the day has for me; it is quiet and uncluttered. Most of the time, the rest of world is still asleep. There is very little to distract me from what I am doing. For an hour or so it’s just me, my little bit of light and the quiet of morning. I ordinarily use this time to write; this little piece is being composed during that time. It makes very little difference whether I am writing on a pad, working on my computer or just sitting, staring into space.
I am now seventy years old, and I have been in this routine since I was seventeen years old; I never tire of it. In fact, I have learned to value it more as I have gotten older.
Have a nice journey.