The Breakfast Club

Author’s Note: This is the third in a series of pieces inspired by or reflective of my painted work. Some of my contemplations will lead me to the work of others. Some will feature mine alone. Some will do both. I hope you enjoy all of them.


I grabbed my first cup of joe, found my favorite window seat, and waited for my friend, New Day, to come greet me. Today, Sun joined our little soirée, rising to stretch and express its full beauty and light up my garden.

With that crock of liquid gold cradled in my hand, the sun in my face, I was ready to join my friends in the garden. I was not the only one taking a seat. No, sir. There was a breakfast club of birds and squirrels. Why even a rabbit wiggled his ears and munched leisurely in my garden. (Oh, no!)

“There’s something about that first sip of coffee,” I told them.

You know, when your lips embrace that first sip, and that warm steamy mocha touches those taste buds. That’s when you know the world is right.

The regulars were waiting for us, the elders: my friends, The Oaks. They’ve been hosting this Club forever. Man, they’re old. In fact, they’re now in their second millennium of welcoming their guests. They’ve set the table to host my other friends — the Mosses, the Woodlands, the Ferns, and the Hostas. They’ve made room for the younger generation, the Rhodies, and the Dogwoods. “After all,” the Oaks whispered, “every garden needs diversity, different colors, different shapes and sizes, and species”.

In the spring we open the party to some flowers. They’re such show-offs. They dot the wood’s edge with wonderful flora and nectar, steal the show, just for a little while. And the party gets bigger. The Bees come. My world is good.

My friends spread their limbs to shelter and ground me. With all their quiet beauty, they teach me the value of peace and appreciation for change. I have such a wealth of friends.

Maybe I’ll paint their beauty today.


Anne O'Brien
Anne O'Brien
Anne is the founder and Principal of The ArtFitters. At an early age, she found herself drawing house plans, enjoying visits to the furniture store, even staging and re-staging her bedroom. At the age of eight, she was more interested in picking out wallpaper, reupholstering furniture, and re-decorating rooms than going out to play. Over the course of her professional life, the scopes of her projects grew larger. Her exposure to styles, materials, and furnishing became more broad. Today, with more than 20 years of experience behind her, Anne is a visually inventive conceptual thinker who always sees the big picture. From residential re-design and staging to managing a $190 million dollar commercial property portfolio, artful re-creation and adaptive re-use inspire her. And she’s worked with franchisors to implement design standards that have been applied nationally. While managing commercial facilities and designing interiors, Anne always made time for art. She’s had instruction in sculpting, pottery, Norwegian folk art, wood carving, dress design, jewelry design, and interior design. She’s studied painting at the Borgo Rinascimento International School of Art in Farnesi, Italy, and with numerous artists. You can see a selection of her work at PaintingsbyAnne.

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  1. Wow…. I love this for so many reasons! My favorite time of day is early in the morning before the sun comes up. I sit out on the lanai with my coffee and wait for that first chirp that signals the day has begun. Interestingly, now that we have less air pollution, the birds sound different.. brighter, happier, louder. Thank you for sharing this one!

  2. Anne, this piece is beautiful! Thank you for writing it so exquisitely! I felt like I was there with you, and it reminds me of my mornings living in a hill town in Western, MA. I love the first sip of hot coffee, especially as I listen to the birds singing their most recent song. There is something so healing in the dawn of Spring. Thank you for this journey this morning!

  3. Except for the coffee part, I loved it all. But I get it, some people gotta have it. That we can find those slices of heaven when they open for us… we first have to be ready, and aware that it could happen anywhere and everywhere. Thank you for capturing it and sharing. Maybe living with that Mark guy does have some upside. Seriously, this was enchanting, wonderful and gorgeous.

    • Hi Tom, yes that living with that Mark guy is pretty good. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your kind words. And, if you want join the breakfast club, you can come any time and have a cup of what ever brings you joy.

  4. I was right there with you in the garden, Anne. Instead of The Oaks, I have The Palms. I’m waiting for my show-off spring blooms – gladioli and iris – to show off their beauty, if only for a while, leaving the hibiscus, crotons, crown of thorns and roses to take over.

    Thanks for the visit with your Breakfast Club.

  5. Remarkable “Live” view of the Garden Party in all its beauty; Thank you, Anne! Your grasp of narrating ethereal beauty with utter simplicity deserves Kudos.

    I feel myself much, much richer, now that I know where to look for inspiration while sitting in the lap of nature, among such remarkable ‘friends.’

    Thank you, With Warm Regards, and a Prayer for All

  6. I’m not a gardener but given the choice of a day at the botanical gardens or a shopping extravaganza, the garden and wildlife win every time. I love your circle of friends. They are a comfort and entertaining. We have a steady show from birds, squirrels, chipmunks and the neighborhood dogs.