It's 6:37am right now. I woke up at 5:03am to feed Applet. He's a good baby and has slept well since birth - waking only once at 3am for a quick feed and then going back to sleep. For the past couple weeks he's been skipping that, though, and just waking up at 5am, for the day.
This might seem crazy to some, but I have a secret.
I love early mornings. I feel calm and in control and like I can do things with the day. I feel like there's a secret world that most people don't know about and I'm in on the secret.
I think the reason I love early mornings so much is that my mother was a single working mother, single until I was almost 9, at least. Every morning, we'd get up at about 6am, get ready, and get in the car. She'd drop me off at the babysitter and then carry on to work. Those mornings were wonderful, all of them. For some reason, the ones that stand out the most to me are the cool, sunny mornings of spring and autumn, with condensation on the car window and indirect light, so that it's still dark out but the sun is coming up.
Growing up in Vancouver, part of a coastal temperate rainforest, I was very used to the rain. It rains a lot there - three times the annual rainfall of London, in fact. Listening to rain in the mornings when there is no road noise, no sound of people walking past, nothing, gives me a chance to get my head straight for the day. My mother still wakes up at about 5am most days and balances her chequebook, puts the laundry away, makes lunch, does all sorts of little errands.
Once I moved out and went to university, you'd think I'd start sleeping in, but I definitely didn't. If anything, that morning time meant even more to me because I needed the time to get a break from intense campus life. I started working at a cafe on campus and happily signed up for the 6am shift. I'd get up while my residence was still silent, trundle across campus, and the day would start very quietly, with more and more people trickling in, until it was full bore busy. I felt at ease with the world, being up before everyone and transitioning from night to day, rather than just waking into the day.
In the following years, now that I think about it, I gravitated to jobs that required very early mornings. The earliest were 5am start times, but most were between 6 and 7am. If it wasn't an early job, it was a long commute, meaning leaving home anywhere between 5 and 7am depending on where I was working and living. A cool morning, leaning against the window of the train or bus, listening to music? Perfection. It wasn't just work, though. Oh no, my travel involved wakeup times that would curdle a normal person's stomach! Planes, trains, automobiles, and a lot of ferries, doesn't matter, I'm on 'em very, very early and often overnight, waking up before dawn and wandering around. I have enjoyed many a soggy breakfast on a boat looking out on the ocean!
Anyway, the last couple of years I've been a bit lethargic, and have been sleeping later and later, sometimes as late as 9am on weekends...so lazy! But now this baby is waking up at 5am every day I feel more like myself than I have in years, even though my life has changed so much.
Well, it was dark out when I start this and as I prattled on, the sun came up. Now it's light out and it's time to move on with the day.
(picture was out my window, while writing this)