That moment of panic! And then utter release as I sink my head back into the pillows. They’re still warm. I don’t see how I would have been able to tear myself away from them. Sunlight is streaming in and everything is quiet… bizarrely and beautifully so. I can see dust particles hanging in the sunlight and it looks like glitter moving in slow motion. There is a magic about the light before 9am; it’s gentle and shy, like maybe overnight we forgot we need it and it doesn’t know if it’s still welcome.
The luxury of nowhere-to-be and no demands. I am free to lie here; to doze and nap and drift and dream to my merry heart’s content. My heart is so merry I can barely stand it. Part of me wants to stay awake so the time passes slowly… I don’t want the time to disappear and see hours fall away through sleeping. I can lie here and daydream instead: I will daydream about croissants and daisies and picnics and I will wriggle my toes deeper into the warmth of the duvet.
I pull it all the way up to my chin and it smells of fresh laundry, like it was on a line outside, rippling in the wind until it was dry. I think of blue skies, with white roundy clouds, and meadow flowers, and that fluttery sound a sheet makes when it’s being whipped by the breeze. When I was a child, Saturday mornings meant laundry, open windows, open doors, and classical music flowing through the house. Sometimes I joined my parents; mostly I squirrelled myself away watching cartoons with honey on toast and Philip Schofield. Even now, fully grown and years away, I can hear strains of Vivaldi celebrating the seasons and I marvel at the connections our senses make: sound and smell, colliding in a perfect storm of nostalgia.
I catch the scent of fresh coffee in the air, so I know my love is up. He will have padded down the stairs barefoot, still warm from sleep, wild of hair, fixated. The first glorious sip of the day, like bitter kisses on the tongue. We used to take it with cream and sugar – we used to take it as a pudding. These days, a dash of almond milk and some honey: just enough to soften anything acrid; not enough to hide the flavour.
We have learned to savour that first taste, and the anticipation of it. The heady steam rising from the cup that fills your senses when you bring it to your nose; the rich, dark heaviness of ground coffee beans burst open. It is almost enough to pull me from our bed.
I reach for my watch to see how much more time I can allow myself without feeling guilty. It is 7.27am, and I have all the time in the world. I forgot to deactivate the alarm last night but now I’m so grateful. Without it, I would have slept through. I would have woken up some time later, completely unaware of having missed one fleeting drop of Perfect. Instead I am here, and I am holding it in the palm of my hand and I am rejoicing.