I find the blue journal tucked in an office drawer. It’s cover feels soft despite being worn with age. The blue flowers swirl across the front and meet a band of blue along the spine. Opening the journal I see my elementary age cursive writing with my name declaring who owns the book. With a red marker the title page stands out in my mother’s perfect calligraphy.
What a Life!
Poems and Stories by Kim Knowle
I turn each page and see my neat-overly-concentrated-on-handwriting. The table of contents chronicles 13 pages of writing and more than half of the journal remains empty. I don’t remember when or why I wrote this book of poems. Perhaps for a school assignment. Or maybe on my own. I guess it’s during my years in elementary school as the dedication is written to my 2nd grade teacher:
Dedicated to my teacher who started it all - Mrs. Vanderlinden
As I read one poem after another a smile fills my face and heart. I am witnessing my young writer’s heart.
I sit up, yawning
I hear cars going by
I do my morning exercises
Already tired and just getting up
It’s time to brush my teeth
Paste on brush
Swish, swish, swish
I hear the water boiling
Blub, blub, blub
Those weird sounds mean it’s oatmeal
I hear it pouring into the bowl
Glop - glop - glop
Just then I hear the bus
I grab my books
Slam the door
When I reach the bus
I sit down
Phew - my morning’s over!
Today, my morning’s look and sound differently. Yet, they’re just as ripe for storytelling. My desk sits in front of a window looking upon the town park. Behind me in our make-shift office: piles of books, notes, toys, and boxes of clothing to be given away. When everyone else is asleep, during early mornings and nap times, I sit at my desk and write. At first, I think about all the other tasks that I could be doing: laundry, sorting clothes, washing dishes, preparing dinner, and answering emails. But I keep myself in the chair. I open a journal, grab a pen, and start writing. One sentence after another.
Out the window I see the leaves swaying gently in the breeze and children climbing the slide. I watch cars pass as I write another sentence. I keep my hand around the pen. I write. I listen and watch. I take note of the sun beginning to peek over the horizon in the morning and the early morning walkers who join me on these quiet days.
Tossing and turning
through the night
waiting for the first sign of light.
Beep, beep, beep sounds the alarm
stretch, stand, wash.
Carefully walk down the hall
afraid to wake anyone at all.
Meet the desk, the paper, the pen
waiting for me.
Look out the window towards the new day
holding hope and possibility,
it’s time to write.
At a young age I found my way to the page and wrote my way through questions, doubts, and understanding. Today, at 37, I’m no different from the young girl with a blue-spined journal. I still find myself drawn to the morning’s light. Another day to watch, listen, and write.
Why do I write? Because the sights and sounds of this world are brimming with holiness, with stories waiting to be unearthed. Why write? Because the mornings are too beautiful not to take notice.
As the sun keeps rising, I’ll keep writing.
***This post was written as part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to read the next post in this series "Write Anyway."