The morning fills me with the precious waters of a new day. I gather droplets in my wide-open mouth. It is as if it were the very first day and I am brought out pristine and eager, everything a fresh blessing.
The morning is the sacred time. In it I witness the making of the world all over again. And rejoice.
My ritual is mundane and homespun. It begins with me stumbling to the kitchen, stretching my eyes to take it all in and fumbling with a match. I heat the water, pour the yerba in my gourd and search for where I last left the bombilla. I wait for the water to heat. Outside my window the dark river flows out to the sea.
You have to wait until the water for mate is just the right temperature. I will share my secret with you: if you pour a stream into the sink, the vapor scurries off the water. If it just moseys it is not hot enough; if the vapor races off the stream, then it is too hot and you must wait for it to cool or start again. The temperature is critical — so woe to me if I am distracted by the river or a bird that soars in ecstasy at the coming of the sun.
I take my kit out into the living room: the kettle, the mate gourd, my journal, a pen. I raise the wooden blinds to welcome the morning world into my life. If I am fortunate – if I have gotten up in time – the dawn is still forming below the horizon and I will see it explode with expletives over the edge of the river.
My river is an ocean. It is so broad that explorers baptized it “Mar Dulce,” the sweet-water sea. I watch the sun rise over the water each morning. It is a gift of the ancient kind.
Seated cross-legged on the floor, I search my reflection in the kettle. The kettle is new but in an old style. Its smooth aluminum surface expands and distorts me around its curves. I see myself in its sides but I do not recognize myself. This kettle goes well with the writing life.
From this writing place, everything flows. The words are so deep in us. They are curative and nourishing. There is something in a human being that must speak its mind. Without words, we do not know ourselves. Without ourselves, there is nothing to say.
The urge to write sits on the tide like an empty vessel waiting to sail. Provisions are being loaded by the crew with exuberant bonhomie; the wind ruffles the sails and chides us for tarrying; our vessel tugs at its mooring ropes, wanting to be free of them. Our crew is all expectant bustle – but the captain has not opened our orders. We do not know to where we are bound until we set off.
I look to the bounty that rides on that out-going ship. I watch. Every day my eyes open a little bit more.
Behold the glory.