Once upon a time, I loved mornings. Up with the birds, I would bounce out of bed ready to start the day. I would go for a walk, write, read, clean the house and cook breakfast – maximising these early hours before the rest of the world started its day. I loved it, greeting each sunrise with enthusiasm
My own business and three children later, these days early starts are rarely my choice. Small people requesting
breakfast before the sun is up is a common occurrence in our house. Lately, there is less bouncing out of bed and more bleary eyed shuffling as I make my way downstairs, often having worked to the wee hours the night before.
It is hard to be grateful for mornings on just a few hours sleep and then the list of things to get done to get everyone out of the house is long. Dressing, breakfast, homework, lunch money, and endless other small needs fill the early hours in a way that is both hectic and mundane.
However, once the porridge on and I have a cup of coffee in my hand I grab my camera and head out with the dog. We live at the edge of the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by hills and wildlife, I find my morning gratitude in the spectacular sunrises that cover the landscape in red and golden light.
With time being so precious in the morning, its easy to rush through this part of my day, hurry the dog along, run back into the house, leave the camera in its case, but taking just a few moments to look through my viewfinder helps me clear the fog from my head and remember what it is I like about mornings: the birds going crazy, the light that hits the trees in the way only sunrise does, the possibility.
I’ve taken pictures of almost every dawn that we have lived here – capturing the landscape as it changes from Winter to Spring. Clear days are best, of course, but living in Scotland clear is a rare thing, so on the rainy days I focus on the details – wool caught on a fence, raindrops on leaves. It has stopped mattering what I take a picture of, so long as I am taking pictures. The dog and I putter around the farm, him stopping to sniff, me stopping to click. We never take long, as the porridge will burn, but its enough.
I’ve come to view these morning photos as my meditation. They are the quiet moments to myself before I re-enter the house where a thousand demands wait. But having stopped and looked, I feel much more equipped to deal with them… well after my 2nd cup of coffee.
About the author: Kat Goldin is a textile designer and photographer living in rural Scotland. She is also co-founder of Capturing Childhood – the online film and photography School. She blogs at www.slugsontherefrigerator.com