at 4am, i woke to find the skylight above my bed filled with stars.

wide awake in the wee hours, i understand this as a time to pray, so at this moment i stepped outside, bare feet on wet deck, gazing up at the spacious mystery.

there was no verbal prayer, there were no words, no platitudes, no random cheesy internet memes passing through, no workshop-speak… just gratitude. just seeing my place in the space again. feeling wet summer air and coolness after days of 90 degree heat.

i returned to bed where my little girl was sound asleep next to me.

i noticed that once again, she’d wiped boogers on the wall next to her head. i wondered where the cat was. she never came in. the dog, asleep in her bed at the foot of ours. oh how much i have to love and clean up after.

at 5am, i got up again. i unfurled a yoga mat and sat for a morning practice.

ujjayi breath, folding over and then arching my back, stretching out the tension, feeling the warmth coming on, the energy, the metabolism boost… folding over and into this, relishing the dawn light – as a mother, these hours of dawn and twilight are mine and mine alone… in them, i need to fit another universe entirely. these are the hours when no one else needs me.

“Mom?”

I hear my old stories kick in. I can’t do anything except mother. I am too busy for self-care. I am sucked dry from need.

It takes everything, everything, to rewrite that story.

I breathe deeply as I fill my cup again and bring her some water. Go back to sleep, I say. It’s too early. I will be here for you when it’s time to wake up, and I will be happy, ready to serve again. And dutifully, sweetly, she does. Within mere seconds I hear the deepness of her rest take over again, the heaviness of her breath as she so trustingly sinks back into a land of dreams… this balmy, post-rain summer air so peaceful, so energizing, full of so much promise for this day.

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