Savor the moment, capture the day

Dawn breaks

Recently I found myself wide awake at the crack of dawn in the Kenyan countryside where I’d been spending several days with my parents. It was that liminal period just before daybreak. As I lay in bed in the dark, my senses were drawn to a variety of noises surrounding me that accompanied the breaking dawn.

There was the crowing of roosters that wake up way too early and crow way too loud. And those must be the weaver birds that yesterday had started nesting in the acacia thorn tree at the corner of the front yard. Next came a cawing cacophony from the crows that my father had been telling me have been invading the area and threatening the smaller birds. Now I’m hearing several birds joining in the call and response songs. I try to separate the numerous tunes they are singing. I think I can make out at least four. And are those crickets? Do crickets sing (or is it chirp) at daybreak? Aren’t they nocturnal? Gotta google that sometime. Shortly thereafter comes the sounds of scattered traffic and vehicles, boda bodas (motorcycles), radios (someone needs to turn down that volume, no reason to have it so loud at this time), and the stirring of human activity in the neighboring homes. 


I’m struck by the simple luxury of getting to savor the first moments of the day before being overtaken by all its events, to enjoy the sounds of Mother Nature stirring, sustaining us like she’s done for millions of years. I feel lucky to witness the gift of another sunrise on this amazing planet. I’m filled with appreciation for this moment as I remember the words from Thich Nhat Hanh’s gatha (mindfulness poem): “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment”. I savor this moment and silently repeat the gatha as the sun begins to light up the sky and my room. 

The words of Mary Oliver come to me from her poem “The Sun”:

…and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you
as you stand there,



Photo: weaver bird nests on a thorn tree – by Nyambura Kihato.