What do I do in the morning when instead of being present in the moment – enjoying the sound of the coffee percolating, listening to my children chatter about peanut butter toast for breakfast – I sense my mind start to fill with anxious thoughts about the many tasks ahead for the day? Yesterday morning I pulled a card for the day. I don’t always do this, but when I do I most often set the question not as, “What might unfold for me today?” but as, “Where can I find my center; what can I draw on for strength and focus today?” It was nearing time for me to leave the house so I reached for my handiest deck – the Raven’s Prophecy – quickly shuffled, and drew the 5 of Swords reversed: At first I slightly resisted it, as my knee-jerk reaction to “negative” cards often seems to be. But then I really looked at the image, and what I saw was that instead of what might have once been a fist clenched around a grouping of small feathers, there was an open hand, a grasp no longer tense and rigid, but soft and relaxed. Instead of holding tight to the feathers, they were now allowed to catch in the breeze and float away. This morning I was making my second pot of coffee (the pot is spotty and the first was a bit more like tan-colored water) when I started to realize that I was already feeling the jagged edges of my to-do list, and I sensed the way it was reducing my enjoyment of those early morning hours. I immediately thought of the 5 of Swords reversed, of the feathers floating away on the wind. Each feather, when held too closely, is like a needling voice, and five of them together create a subtle cacophony in the back of the mind, a push and pull of nebulous demands on time and energy and attention. But if I take a moment to allow my awareness to settle on that noise I find I have the choice to release my grasp, to let those voices fade away like feathers in the gentle breath of morning air.