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Monday, July 25, 2005

the sunriser

Most mornings I rise with the sun. Sometimes earlier. Sometimes I find myself wide eyed at four in the morning, already consuming my breakfast of cereal with raisins and fruit, or large chunks of chocolate if I can find any.

On good mornings, like this morning, I wake around six or seven, hours which seem much more humane and socially acceptable. Hours which seem somehow saner.

I woke up at six this morning, and kept myself busy until seven with emails and a big mug of hot chocolate.

At seven I walked passed the patisserie to find it was still closed. Knowing the family run business would soon be open, I took a five minute detour and came back to find the door ajar, but the lights still off.

I sat outside as the man inside filled the cash register with change, arranged the baguettes behind the counter, switched the lights on and set things up.

The center square of the village-La Place-was quiet and still, the bar lights switching on as they set up for morning customers, the stone walls lit by morning light and the large roman numeral clock revealing it to be just past seven.

I let a few customers enter the patisserie before me. An older man rushed in, urgent to get a baguette, a pack of gum and some change. The next one in was a young girl, tired eyed and straight out of the shower. She explained to the shopkeeper that she had to fetch the croissants because her mother was taking care of the baby, and then stopped to ask me why I would be up at such an hour, and sitting in such a way outside the patisserie. I explained that I was hungry for croissants, and was planning on getting them as soon as I felt more awake.

After a few minutes I stepped into the shop, and walked out with a warm bag filled with un croissant, une chocolatine, and deux pains aux raisins. There is something deeply satisfying about returning home with this soft warm bag; a morning treat for everyone in the house.

The two pain aux raisins were for my mother and I. They are a flat danish shaped pastry, with dough rolled around itself and filled with raisins. It’s almost like a diabetic version of a cinnamon bun…but without the cinnamon as well.

Back in our old house, I sat myself down with my pain au raisin, as sounds of sleep carried through old walls. The pastry was warm, practically like hot dough laced with raisins. My heart sang and my taste buds whistled. There is no better way to start the day than with the most butter filled carbohydrate you can get your hands on.

Still slightly restless, I took off on a short walk, my heart still singing. The past few days my head has been caving me in, leering me into a depression that I am fighting off as hard as I can. But this morning there was no sign of these dark thoughts, and my body and mind felt at peace, a rare and joyous occasion.

Back at home I slipped my lacy shorts and camisole back on and snuggled myself back into the tussled comforter on my bed. I was eager to get a couple more hours of sleep in while the rest of the house woke up, hopefully happy to find a warm bag of pastries on the dining room table.


Blogger Georgia said...

I love waking up early, feeling like you have the whole day ahead of you. You can acomplish so much. The only problem is having the energy to get out of bed...

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

G -
I tend to be a deep sleeper, catching up on my long work hours with sleep-ins on weekends and every attempt to set my alarm to establish a morning run habit fails.

But, too funny reading your post, this past weekend, I was up with the sun as well, 6:30 (!!) on Saturday morning, I got a glorious long run in before my yoga class. Ditto Sunday. So refreshing to then have the entire day ahead of you with so much already accomplished.

And pain au raisins... there was a spectacular artisan bakery in Boston that made these on Wednesdays, the raisins were soaked in rum, and the dough was croissant dough, absolute heaven.

Jenn in Jersey

6:41 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I've been having a little trouble getting up early lately. A walk to the local bakery sounds like just the solution. Thanks.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

Thanks for initiating my addiction to croissants, notably chocolate-filled ones. I thought I had rid myself of them, but no.... I serve breakfast at a lodge that bakes fresh croissants (among other pastries) every morning, and I'm allowed to help myself. Damn you Gilly. (Not to worry, I love you for it).

2:02 PM  
Blogger Vitae said...

you've gotten my mouth watering for just the thing i'm not supposed to eat. i'd even settle for a bagel and cream cheese, but no dice.

it's 7 am where i am now, another day away from your early walk, yet you captured me and took me along in such a pleasant way.

thank you, young woman!


4:13 AM  

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