Listening to every heart
It starts early, before the sun is up.
I hear him, walking softly, quietly, easily through the house, I hear the silent movements of reach, stretch, the hushed sounds of the coffee pot being moved, the slight rumbling of pipes as water fills them, rushing forth to the opening of the coffee pot, the slight shushing bubbling sound of water being captured between the walls of the percolator.
As a cabinet door opens, I’ve by now sat up in the top bunk, and move slowly as to not wake the sleeper below me. The morning air is chill with moisture, and outside is still dark, very dark. I ease my leg over the end of the bed and make my way down the ladder, knowing the cold wood floor is going to cause me to wish [again] I had placed my slippers close to the ladder.
The socks I took off just yesterday are there though, so I pick them up, grab my bathrobe for warmth, miss the one creaky floor board, slip by Mom’s open door, and down the hallway into the bathroom. Then I peek around the doorway into the kitchen.
There he is, the coffee grounds already smelling up the kitchen in warm, misty perking sounds, blurp, blik blick, blurpblikblick, and again, I am the FIRST one to see such a smile, finger raised to mouth, in mime of shhhhh.
His long thin legs clad in ironwear jeans, his white T-shirt showing wear but smelling like Old Spice and sleep, I sit on his lap for my morning hug, and feel the bones of his back under my little girl hands as the squeeze and hug is tight, and long. Then, “well, Sunshine, let’s get our coffee” whispered, to not wake the others, not just yet.
His black, and mine, milk with some coffee…then out onto the patio, where he wipes California fog off the wood chair with his huge old blue farmer’s handkerchief, and we watch the hills to see which of us doesn’t blink as the Sun makes its debut. Who will see the first hummingbird? Soft girl questions and quiet Dad answers fill the air and do not disturb the birds. Foggy smells and bottlebrush flower smells mingle with coffee steam.
Distinct thoughts within my mind [capture this moment, right here, right now, never let go] speak so loud as to have obscured that last response, and I look at him and he just...smiles.
The memories start early, before the sun is up, and I know he is still with me, every morning.
[This message has been edited by Sunshine (03-11-2004 10:20 AM).]