Its as quiet in my house as it can be. The kids and my spouse have not awakened. The dogs are still groggy from a night of sleep and have not yet started to bark at the frequent squirrels who appear in our yard. The only noise in my kitchen is the whooooing sound of my electric tea pot warming my water for my much anticipated cup of green tea. This is one of my most favorite times of the day. It is peaceful and my mind is quiet. The day has yet to unfold and I find myself working hard to keep it at bay while these precious moments fuel my body and mind for whatever may cross my path. The water is now boiling and can hear the noise of the water bubbles bursting onto each other. Then, I hear the click that indicates that the water has completed its cycle of transformation from cold tap water to liquid gold that penetrates the tea bag as it transforms itself into my cup of tea. During a recent Dharma talk I attended with Thich Nhat Hahn in New York he talked about how your tea is not just tea. How it has the essential elements of the earth, water, the clouds and sun and everything in the universe. So while you are sipping your tea you are sipping the clouds. Today, I will drink my cloud tea and be present in the day. It is a rare gift today, a weekday during the school year when my kids and spouse all will be home. My attention has only now moved from the inside of my house and how peaceful it is to the noise of the last fall leaves rustling on the tress as the autumnal breeze blows through them. What a sensation to be able to be moved by the wind. Right now they are all aligned and dancing to the left, but as the wind shifts the movement of the leaves becomes more erratic. Just as the energy shifts cause us to become more erratic during the course of our days. How can we navigate our way through our windy days and maintain our connection to the tree as we fall to the earth at time? Through meditation and breath work. Meditation provides me with this tool. Meditation is not something that was a natural fit for me. I have spent years in constant motion not sitting down to breath for a moment. Always racing to get one more thing done, but lately I find that sitting and breathing has taken on new meaning and that the need to get one more thing done doesn’t seem as important.