I am now on my third apartment here in Hanoi.
Every morning, between 6:15-6:35AM, straight out of bed, I stand by my window while I wait for water to boil. Tea and oatmeal make the best breakfast for someone who starts teaching at 8:15AM.
I sit still and stare at this cluster of buildings that appear to be apartments. Families live in them - there's a mother chasing her toddler, a child putting on a jacket for the ride to school. Maybe someone out there is staring back at my building, my window.
When I was looking for a new place, my priorities were space and light.
The last apartment - only a kilometer away from here - was terribly small. I walked one step and I was right out the door. I wanted to move to a place where I have room to move my limbs more, where I can stretch my legs to the sides while I'm on the mat.
And light, because I like when curtains are pulled back and the sun illuminates the room. It's beautifully romantic and practical.
One time last week, I stood on a thin streak of light coming through to get some warmth on my skin. I reveled in the gentle heat.
Then I sit down, take out a few pieces of blank paper, pen, light my candle. I move the flowers close to me. Sometimes, I pick my worn out journal. Sometimes, I read a few lines off a book.
If times of day are siblings, my favorite would be the morning. I would make her a good meal, offer a tight embrace, and spend quality time whenever she is around.
Mornings are fragile. It's that delicate, stolen time of day when I can be alone in my thoughts even for a limited time, before the city sounds fill the air. It's the time when we step into radiance and radiance enters our being.
It bears witness to our immediate confessions, dreams, and longings.
Then it's time to speed things up because my students are waiting.
These are my mornings these days.
Featured photo by Minh Nguyen. Contact her here.