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Three Beginnings to the Day

By Madeline Champagne

The first beginning, coming out of sleep.

Sometimes quickly with the list of to-do’s already in mind,

sometimes slowly because of the dream visions still tugging back,

sometimes control snatched by the bright sun awareness

or the orchestra of birdsongs, or the pet who wants attention.

Then it is up, do whatever time allows, think about the day,

and watch the clock to be ready for Morning Meditation.

The second beginning, settling down for meditation.

The warm Good Morning greetings,

occasional small stories or comments or short announcements.

A few minutes there of halting the morning,

a pause of physical and mental activity, of gathering emotions,

a calmness, a comfort of being in the familiar group,

and the freedom of no anticipation of what words and poem we will hear.

The third beginning, starting with the radiating tones of the crystal bowl.

Where do we go, after hearing the heartfelt thoughts, a poem.

Connecting with the words of joy, pain, courage, hope, reality, self.

What will come up from the past, to rejoice in and dance with joy –

or to grieve with deep sorrow. Maybe something buried that needs to be dealt with.

What will come up for the present, to have the time to go deeper and see things more clearly.

Or to just be, and enjoy what the senses perceive.

What will come up for the future, to be better prepared.

In the fifteen minutes of silence, where do we go?

The crystal bowl brings us from our solitude to the sharing and the healing,

merging individual into collective experiences.

With gratitude, we relate, we react, we learn, we smile, we weep, we grow.

Each beginning shapes our day – what we think, what we do, how we interact with our selves and with the world.

This is how I often think of morning—in terms of the words written by Eleanor Farjeon in 1931.

Morning has broken like the first morning Blackbird has spoken like the first bird Praise for the singing, praise for the morning Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven Like the first dewfall on the first grass Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning Born of the one light, Eden saw play Praise with elation, praise every morning God's recreation of the new day

Morning has broken like the first morning Blackbird has spoken like the first bird Praise for the singing, praise for the morning Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I was thinking about the responsibility we have to create our own solitude, the root core of who we are and what we value. And then I was thinking about how we share that and model that for our children, because that’s what you take with you through your life, whatever else is going on. And then, I was struck by the thought of that poem, which was written in the Depression. Think about the positive view in spite of what was going wrong. Kind of amazing. Thank you.

  • I couldn’t help thinking that would be a great preface for a book that collects these reflections. It made me think back to that time last year and how incredibly chaotic it was and unprecedented it was for all of us. Quite quickly, this ritual imposed some order on the chaos and it really did become a ritual and amazingly comforting. I can never express my gratitude for what this group has done over this period of time. It unleashed so much thinking and reflection on all of our parts. One of the things I love about collaboration is that everyone contributes in a way. It’s like tree roots that become intermingled and are stronger as a result of it. The contributions that everyone makes creates this wonderful organism.

  • Thank you so much. Your entire reading felt like a blessing. The poem at the end was a deeper blessing. It spoke to this morning and to my lifetime. I’m having all kinds of thoughts and feelings. I received a text earlier this morning from a former prison student who wished me a blessed day. I was trying to figure out how to respond. And you gave me a response. I’m going to wish her a happy new day. This group feeds us at so many levels and what you are offering is absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

  • Your reading was beautiful as was the poem. I’ve been thinking how something can be done over that softens what happened before. I have a painful memory associated with that song, but now, when I hear that song again, I will think of you reading it. I don’t like using plastic, but I found some plastic bags I can use for my family member. At one store, I got yelled at for taking too many. At another store, I was encouraged to take more. The second experience softens the pain of the first experience. Things can be done over in a positive way.

  • Thank you. I visited my mom a couple of days ago and I took care of myself around the visit. I did the Celtic Weave and other things. It was surprisingly okay. The next day, my body ached so much and I felt so weak. I realized it was an energy thing. It took me another whole day to get my energy back. And I saw that it’s not in my imagination that my energy can be drained like that. This morning I woke up feeling better. I feel better here with you all. During the meditation, I pictured bringing in energy and protecting my solar plexus. The experience helps me see that I’m not imagining this and helps me not blame myself. There is so much synchronicity when I come here.

  • Thank you for summarizing so beautifully and so meaningfully what we do when we come here. All the ingredients that go into our mornings that make us want to come back. I appreciate the honesty of people. We come forth with the real truths of what we are going through and have gone through. There isn’t a measuring stick that would fully measure the impact that we have on each other. I’m going to think about what people are sharing. I appreciate the history of the song. It’s such a celebratory song. I’m going to see my friend today. Our last visit was so horrible. I’m going to approach it differently. I’m going to remember if my energy begins draining, it will all be well. So, let it be. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you all for being here and for your sharing. Hope you have a blessed day.

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