the smallest detail

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My favorite time of day is the first couple of hours before the sun comes up.  The quiet of morning makes me feel quite alone in the world, and I enjoy strolling the vacant streets with a cup of coffee.  The walk wakes up my legs and the coffee jolts my mind, and, ever so slowly, people trickle out of their homes and into the streets.  The poetic and incredibly beautiful thing about people in the morning is how determined they seem to begin the day just right.   

If you watch closely, everyone seems to understand their place in the world around 8am – business associates hop determinedly onto bosses, students crack open their books, and shopkeepers swiftly sweep the floors.  As the day progresses, people inevitably feel tired or angry or sad, but in the morning, it just seems like endless hope.

I woke at 7am the first time I slept at Jon’s apartment.  It was a Saturday morning, and I figured he wouldn’t stir for at least another 3 hours.  When I  rolled over, however, I found him watching CNN and sending emails on his laptop.   He kissed my forehead and hopped out of bed:  “You’re up — Let’s get coffee.”  I wiped the sleep from my eyes and thanked my lucky stars for finding me an early riser.  Two mugs today, please.

We crossed the street from our downtown apartment and entered the coffee house on the corner.  I just about keeled over when he grabbed The WSJ like a reflex.  The WSJ is my favorite paper.  

We ordered two black coffees, snuggled into a booth, and divided the paper.  We spent the next few hours reading out loud, swapping stories, asking for opinions, and laughing over the same events.  We occasionally turned away from the paper to indulge in some quality people watching.  
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This is a long story, Reader, but I’m trying to convey the magnitude of our first, seemingly ordinary, Saturday morning together.  Three years later, the Saturday morning routine has become a relationship habit — we wake, brush our teeth, and then we go searching for caffeine and news.  

We were in Chicago this past weekend, and even though we were on vacation, we woke Saturday morning and went searching for the local coffee shop, hand-in-hand.  The power of our relationship ritual was too great to be broken by something as simple as a vacation.  The consistency of our ritual, of the shared morning, coffee, and paper, is something that we look forward to and depend on.  We repeat this Saturday morning tradition, time and time again, because we both find it so fulfilling and happy — down to the smallest detail.   All of our Saturday mornings play out exactly the same way, in a sort of domestic haze, simply because we wouldn’t want them any other way.  We found a moment that we choose, time and time again, to recreate exactly.
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Do you have any relationship rituals?  Families, couples or friends?  Is there something that you look forward to doing, time and time again, with the people dear to you?

Here are some pictures from the weekend Chicago trip:
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17 thoughts on “the smallest detail

  1. I loved this blog post and thank you for sharing it. It is clear to me that you and your husband are soulmates! 🙂 The small details are what make a marriage so special.

    We have many such rituals but the one that I love most is that before we get out of bed in the morning, we kiss. It’s a beautiful way to start the morning, no matter what we are doing.

    Your trip to Chicago looks like you both had such a terrific time! 🙂

      • You’ll laugh… I met him online in a forum dedicated to Buffy the Vampire Slayer! 😉 LOL! It was love at first type!

        Ah yes, I remember those days too. My husband is a retired chef and when we were newlyweds, he would work early/late shifts and I hardly ever saw him. He still kissed me, though. I was too sleepy to speak but a kiss I could do. 😉

  2. First of all, I just love this! Second of all, I am really jealous that you are both morning people. I think I want to be a morning person but years of night owl-dom have taken its toll 🙂 My favorite relationship ritual happens twice a year. Around each of our birthdays, the other spouse plans a surprise outing–it can be something simple like dinner at our favorite restaurant, or more elaborate, like a weekend away. It’s so fun to see what surprises await along the way and we love talking about our birthday outing all year long.

  3. I think it is amazing how people have their own rituals that only the participants are privy to. It is a time used to call upon memories of the past while creating new ones that will be recalled in the future. It is a time and ritual that is sacred and unspoken. It happens simply because that’s the way things were meant to be. There is no need to comprehend or understand. It just is. And it’s beautiful 😉

  4. This was a beautiful post. It made my heart warm up with joy! This is how I imagine life to be 🙂

    I love mornings. Watching the sunrise, and taking in the quietness is truly mean endless hope to me. The potential of the day is realized. The sunrises seem even more beautiful here then they did in Texas, so I’m cherishing that as the days drift by.

    Looks like you had a fantastic weekend getaway in Chicago! How fun!!

  5. Hello Jen! Just found your sweet blog via Sofia at Papaya Pieces. So glad that I did! Love the way you write, the way you find beauty in small things, the way you treasure your relationship above all. I’ve been lucky enough to find a man who I also count as being my best friend… we’re approaching our two year wedding anniversary this November (four years together, woo!). As for rituals, we also do the Saturday coffee thing as frequently as possible. I’m a morning person and my husband isn’t, so it’s normally mid-morning(ish… occasionally afternoon!) but we love it all the same. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post with us x

    • Such a sweet photograph that Sophia found, right? I just loved it. I also appreciate your sweet comments, and I’m excited to go through your blog and learn all about you & your husband & your rituals 🙂

      • Haha I didn´t find it, I photographed it 🙂 I´m happy Laura and you have met now xoxo
        Mr H and I love early hours of the morning but its just hard for us to get up hehe. Any meal together is a whole ritual. We don´t actually do the same hobbies but we enjoy them together. He actually comes to my piano classes and sits there listening. I´ll go and sit on the beach reading while he surfs. 🙂

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