Morning Fog

Jennifer Cudmore Prof. L. Gertsma English Composition 1 6 September, 2012 “Morning Fog” I often wonder how many opportunities I’ve let slip by throughout my life. Countless colorful sunsets, too many moons rising into the night sky to even count, or even something as simple as a glance in the mirror at my own reflection. Far too many times I have been too busy or too tired to stop and notice what I’m missing. On one particular morning a few days ago, I awoke to the piercing sound of my alarm blaring in my ear.

Even though the piece of technology had merely sprouted legs of its own to bury itself under my pillow, I could still hear it as clear as a bull horn through my sleepiness. I managed to groggily press the correct button on the flat piece of glass that was the surface of my cell phone. There’s two buttons to choose from and if I’m not careful, I would find myself pressing the button that would allow me to drift off to the land of odd happenings, to unicorns and fairy dust, and to the place where time seems to stand still.

Often times, when this unfortunate mishap has occurred, I would wake in such frenzy that I could feel the labored breaths as they attempted to escape from my lungs. My heart was beating in such a fashion as to erupt straight through my chest. Luckily this was not one of those days and I began to untangle myself from the covers that so gently held me throughout the night. The temperature change was abrupt and waves began to rush over my skin like lake water lapping the rocks of a shoreline. My long, cold fingers reached through the darkness toward the switch on the wall.

My eyes quickly clenched shut as if anticipating the searing pain that was about to commence once the switch was turned. With a loud click, electricity rushed the filament of the crystal globe and exceptionally bright light stretched through every corner of my room that was just as dark as dirty oil a moment ago. Making the unbearable attempt to adjust to the sudden change from darkness to light, my eyes began to blink repeatedly and tears formed at the corners of each eye. With each blink, it became apparent very quickly that contacts would not be an option today.

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I could almost hear the pleading of each eye screaming out to me saying, “Please go back to bed! We’re not ready yet! ” With the moon still hanging high outside my window, I turn to my closet. I remember thinking to myself that the moon looked particularly bright this morning and perhaps that was the first sign that I was looking a little closer at what I was doing than I usually did. I quickly chose my outfit for the day and began down the hallway towards the steps. The potent aroma of coffee hit my senses as my feet landed on the fourth step from the top of the narrow stairwell.

My “lifeline” is what I officially dubbed this miracle liquid for no matter how many hours of sleep I had shorted myself the night before, coffee had always helped me push through. I made my way down the remainder of the steps and into the coffee scented kitchen where I find a mug to place sugar and creamer in. I managed to pour a cupful without spilling even a drop of the precious, blistering hot liquid. Even with the first few sips of the coffee within the cup, I start to feel my body slowly awaken from the sudden surge of caffeine and I push forward.

With a quick glance at the clock on the wall, I make the decision that there is no time for a piece of toast or bowl of cereal. Almost as if hearing my thoughts, an animal like growling emanated from my stomach in an attempt to change my mind. The plea was quickly ignored and I walked past the refrigerator door. A mental note formed in my mind of yet another missed opportunity, as I walked past my father who was so intently focused on the plate of breakfast sitting in front of him.

With cup in hand I enter the bathroom, where I finish getting ready for the day. With a quick glance around, as if taking a mental inventory of what would be needed, a hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste quickly make their way to the countertop, lining up like patrons at a checkout in a supermarket. It wasn’t until my hair was done and teeth were brushed that I made the connection. How many years had I gotten myself up? How many times had I dressed myself and how many cups of coffee had it taken to get me going in the morning?

I had come to the shocking realization that in the past 15 minutes of my 32 years I managed to get myself ready in the presence of 3 different mirrors in 3 separate places of my house but not once did I take the time to gaze into one. I had looked long enough to guarantee that every hair was in its place and that every pearly white tooth got its own little one on one with the toothbrush but not once did I truly look at the reflection that was quietly standing there staring back at me.

I stopped and forced myself to truly look and realized that the reflection was the same with the exception of a few extra lines, or that the shine of my hair wasn’t quite as luminescent as it once was. However, when I actually looked into my eyes it came quite apparent that the many years of broken hearts, lost loves, and life experiences had changed them in such a way that it was almost unrecognizable. There was pain there, yet an even stronger wisdom irradiated brighter than the moon or the sun combined. Sometimes, all it takes is a little time to really appreciate who you are and what you have accomplished in your life.

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