In the morning, light filters into our kitchen and dining area in the most beautiful way. (These pictures really don’t do it justice, I’m working on that.) The past few days I have had the chance to eat my morning meal in silence, alone with myself, on my road to recovery from pneumonia. I am reminded of all of my good intentions to bring pieces of our Kripalu experience back home with us. This piece has always been one of my favorites, a silent morning meal. However, with a two year old, it’s not likely to be one that we have in our home often. But on the days when it does occur, I like to bask in it. It’s calm, it’s peace, it’s reminder to begin fresh, with intention.
Here are my reflections on the silent morning meal written while I was at Kripalu. There I was with my lovely husband, here I am with my lovely girl cat, Amelia. Both of them are wonderful breakfast companions….
Breakfast is a silent meal. This is not something either of us will struggle with. My husband is the strong silent type. And I suppose, so am I. I love this meal here because I can rely on it. It is one thing that does not seem to change, much. I can rely on the soft, well cooked steel cut oats, the coconut milk yogurt, raisin compote, and variety of nuts and seeds. I can rely on the hard boiled egg, and the assortment of tea. I can rely on the unsweetened almond milk, and the sweet raw honey. And I can rely on the silence, the chance to start the day slowly, with full attention.
We settle into our seats, across from each other at a long table filled with other visitors starting their day too. We can look at each other’s faces, but often we don’t. We stare past, watching, observing, contemplating those around us. She’s here with her mother. He looks like he is missing his morning cup of Joe. Her face is calm, serene. His face is searching.
I look at these faces, some naked, made-up, tired, refreshed, lonely, in-love, present, and far, far away. Sometimes they look back at me. Sometimes they catch my face as I calmly sip my hot chai tea, or awkwardly spoon oatmeal into my mouth. What do they know about me as they glance at my clean, bare, un-decorated face? What do they see behind my hazel eyes surrounded by “laugh lines”, the pink pigment of my skin which occasionally shows up in splotches, my pale lips? What do they infer about my life by the way I have pulled up my hair, or the clothing I am wearing? Who do they think I am? Who do I?
We sit in silence, this room full of people. We eat our morning meal, we contemplate, and we watch. None of us truly knows each other. Even the man sitting across from me, my husband, whom I have “known” for over 15 years, doesn’t truly know me, nor I him. Really, we don’t even know ourselves. We are only (and always) in the process of discovering.
I sit back in my chair, holding my warm tea mug close to my face. I inhale the sweet steam rising from it. I draw up the left corner of my mouth, then the right. I glance back at my husband. He does the same.