On the Perfect Morning

morning3

morningThe perfect morning begins with birdsong gently waking up the sweet sleeper. As she opens her eyes, her gaze focuses on a single blushing rose in a crystal goblet. Perhaps sun’s rays filtered through clouds of tulle make the petals glow, or perhaps it is still misty and dark outside, dawn a delicate tinting of the sky at east, and only a small circle of light falls on the bedside table with flower and goblet and a doily of fine lace. Raised embroidery on the pillow-case and linens cast delicate shadows, the silken comforter can be glimpsed through eyelets and insertions of lace. She smoothes the bedlinens, but not yet covering them with the crocheted daycover. Voluminous nightdress billows around her as she arranges the bed, her hands swiftly enjoying the sensation of linen and silk and the stitches of embroidery. She stretches her back, her hands, feeling vigor spreading to her limbs. Now she turns to her mirror, slipping the morning wrapper around her. Is it of sprigged cotton, as in spring, or of stately surah cut on sophisticated lines as in autumn? In any case, it is of such a make and style as to begin the day properly dressed, undeniably stylish and exuding beauty from its every fold. On her head she secures a morning cap, a delightful little affair of fresh ribbons and cotton laces, something so proper and so sweet to hide one’s hair during breakfast. It is of her own making, and the knowledge of this little act of creating prettiness makes her smile. Her feet are snug and comfortable in slippers, and perhaps we discover a few rosebuds and violets covering her toes, made by the same crafty needle which created the morning cap.

morning2Soon she has washed herself; water splashes, iridescent soap bubbles form and disappear, artfully stitched initials of a towel peek from the soft folds, some bottles of lotions come out and return again behind the ruffled curtain of the washstand. She is ready to open the wooden door. Perhaps she descends winding stairs to a light morning room as a bell rings silvery, to a highly polished table set with porcelain plates and richness of pastry and fruit on gleaming damask, to take her seat among familiar faces and folded linen napkins and maid dressed in a frilly cap pouring hot chocolate from a silver pot with a spout curled like swan’s neck. Or maybe she finds her way to her own familiar kitchen, winds a colorful apron with scalloped edges around herself and cooks the breakfast with sure hands and a song on her lips, to put it on a cosy breakfast table covered with checkered cotton, everywhere the touches of her own industry and art, her family and companions wondering about the delicious smells wafting from kitchen. Or perhaps she arranges her morning meal on a neat tray, exactly as she likes it with all the colours of dishes matching, a tall pitcher of glass full of freshly pressed juice, a cup of steaming coffee black as ink, a single perfect croissant anticipating the touch of ruby-coloured marmalade, knife at the right angle, and takes the tray gloriously to her bed to be enjoyed among the soft mounds of blankets while the rest of the world still slumbers. It is a moment of joy and pleasure and comfort before the chaos and loud sounds and mismatchiness of the outside world. The swan-necked silver pot, the gingham apron, the breakfast tray enjoyed leaning on soft pillows are but minor differences caused by accidents of fate, personal preferences and living arrangements. Intention is the same, the feeling is the same. The morning meal having been consumed pleasurably, the thank-you’s said, pink lips gently tapped with the napkin, she rises again to prepare herself  for the day. Should she outfit herself in a suit of wool and rush to the office, or change into a house gown and do the dishes and afterwards skip to the garden to pick flowers, or linger pleasantly over the choice of several delicious morning dresses and let a maid curl her hair depends on the life she leads, but in any case the bed is made and the daycover smoothed carefully on top. She is on her way, the door is closed. Her bedroom is now perfectly still, waiting for the return of its mistress at the end of the day, as sun ascends higher and gradually light fills the room.

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