February 10


Mornings These Days

By Odyssa

February 10, 2023

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. 

Morning view

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. 

Read about what I'm working on here. Moving and exploring a new place brings about new tales - keep those stories alive by using some of these tips

Featured photo by Minh Nguyen. Contact her here.


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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