I am sitting perfectly happy and consciously grateful in the black darkness of early dawn. My trusted, and well worn, Patagonia puff ball jacket is zipped up over red flannel pajamas as I rest my wool-socked feet on the hearth of a wood burning river rock fireplace. I feel myself slowly awakened by the taste of that essential first sip of steaming coffee as the sun starts making its way up in the sky, reliably lighting up the majesty of the natural beauty surrounding a hundred year-old farmhouse in the middle of the Fall River Valley.

Quiet moments like this one, waking up early, deeply excited about the promise of a fine day ahead, bring to mind so many treasured memories that all began in much the same way. I can feel the truth of it all, and I am reminded that spending time bringing my senses to life is, quite simply, life’s greatest gift. It is, as my old comrade and philosopher, Jessica Mitford, would say,

"Lifeitselfmanship."

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Photo by R. Valentine Atkinson

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Photo by R. Valentine Atkinson