Morning Has Broken

Peter has always been an early riser while I, on the other hand, have always enjoyed a good lie in. As a result, most mornings I have the bed and the bedroom to myself. He brings me endless cups of tea while I sit in bed, with Buddy snoring gently at my feet, enjoying the calm before the storm. If these early morning reveries are interrupted, I never quite regain my equilibrium for the day. From bed I can look out over the forest, the rolling hills beyond and, if it’s a clear day, I can see the jagged outline of the mighty Drakensberg on the horizon. Often though we wake up to a landscape shrouded in mist and it makes me feel even more content to be all cosy in bed.

When Peter gets out of bed and opens the blinds, the birds have already gathered en masse in the surrounding trees, waiting for their food. Such a commotion of twittering and chattering greets us every morning outside our bedroom window. As soon as he scatters the seed, they swoop in like shoppers desperate for bargains at a Black Friday sale. And I, from my bed watch them jostling and scuffling over the seed and fruit scraps. There is also a very plump field mouse who joins them for breakfast. He has created a path through the garden and often, during the day I see him stopping along the way to nibble on some plants (echeveria seem to be a delicacy). It reminds me of stories like Thumbelina and the Forest Folk and I try to imagine what the garden looks like from the mouse’s perspective. How I wish that we could all spend more time sensing this other, natural world that exists around us. I’m sure that if we did, we wouldn’t be so inclined to destroy it as we are doing.

But I don’t only sit and gaze out the window from my bed. Binoculars and camera aside, there are books, pencils and notepads, and my trusty laptop on hand – bed is where I do most of my writing, despite having what Virginia Woolf referred to as A Room of One’s Own. Next door to the main bedroom is Alex’s bedroom which I’ve turned into a private space of my own, complete with desk, bookcase and flipchart! But still I prefer to sit in bed with my laptop perched on a beanbag laptray for as long as is possible before the busyness of the day intrudes.  

dark-capped bulbul
Leonotis leonurus (wild dagga) grows in abundance on the farm; it flowers in autumn and has mostly died back already. However, there is a species that flowers in winter called klip dagga that I planted in my front garden and is much-loved by sunbirds at this time of year. This is a double-collared sunbird enjoying the nectar.
Here you can see the red band across its chest
Striped grass mouse eating with the francolins.
Here’s a close up.
Mouse tunnel through a clump of dietes.
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4 Responses to Morning Has Broken

  1. Lovely! I am a very early riser but often go back to bed after a dawn walk with a pot of tea and my notebook or laptop and dog. Especially now in winter when the low sun streams right onto my feet…

    • Cathy says:

      Ah, magic. Our bedroom faces west and in the afternoon our bed is bathed in sunlight, which makes a post-lunch catnap most desirable!

  2. Joan says:

    Beautiful piece Cathy. I so enjoy your writing. Joan

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