They say that it’s darker just before the dawn. I wouldn’t know. It’s not that I don’t get up early. I really do, but contrary to the popular belief of those who know me, it is not before dawn. My creator has graciously wired me to come on line just as the dawn has broken. Ok, so once in awhile he’s wired my alarm to go off then, the result is still the same. I’m up and witness to the unveiling of each new day. For the past several mornings, really since the return from my east coast vacation, my eyes have opened, as if on cue, 10 minutes before the alarm sounded. I enjoy this. In my limited and somewhat demented state I feel that this indicates that I have achieved some sort of balance. I call it life without alarm.
So I’m up early today, earlier than most, and anticipating all that He has in store for me. I’ve already seen some of it. The sky is progressing from that chalk- like gray blue, with a sliver of light outlining the skyline. Now, as the ferries glide across the bay like beacons, I can see the mountains rising behind the city and across the sound. They’re very much background ghosts at the moment, kind of like an artist who has stepped back into the shadows to witness the admiration of his work. The only shortcoming within this plan is that very few actually get to admire this repeating act of creation.
When I arrived at my beachfront caffeine supplier this morning, I was quite alone, except for the two who have graciously accepted the task of arriving here before me to make sure that my drink would be available on my schedule. So I get the amazing gift of sitting by the window, fresh with a morning gift deposited by a seagull, and watch this amazing display that pours forth every day. To be fair, there are a few hearty souls who chose to inhabit this part of the day with me.
Some have chosen this time of day. There’s the woman who is strolling by in rapid step, certainly on a mission directed by her cardiologist. The only thing tighter than the laces on her shoes seems to be the curls in her perm. It’s kind of impressive really. There are the seniors who are now just arriving. Did I say it was quiet here? Well it was, emphasis on was. In fact I was trying to do the morning without headphones, just a piped in jazz kind of thing to sooth my soul at the beginning of the week. But here they all come, so I guess it’s now headphones and Dave Matthews for me. Whatever.
Some have not chosen this time of day, but have had it chosen for them. There’s the walking dead, tethered to some very over anxious canine companions, being towed from bush to hydrant to bush to other bushes. There are those who have the misfortune to have real jobs with real schedules and real bosses that hold them to real deadlines. These poor unfortunate souls stand dutifully at the bus stop, looking quite like travelers in C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” waiting for transport to the great beyond. For them, it’s simply downtown, but I can see how you could confuse the two.
I myself choose this time of day because it is valuable to me. It brings me hope. No matter the day previous, I get to live in this one and I wait anxiously each day for it to be unveiled to me. It gives me more time. I have always gotten up early for as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine life any other way. Even with more hours actually lived than the average American, time has still gone by way too fast. This past week I celebrated a birthday. It was one of those double same digit birthdays that are only exciting until you reach a certain decade. This one was manageable, but it did remind me, as I was blessed to spend the weekend with my now adult children, that my dawns are becoming somewhat more limited. I remember dawns interrupted by little feet padding across the floor. I remember dawns shortened by school day drives and discussions about homework and baseball and lunch time choices. Those are past regardless of how early I rose. I can’t imagine what it would be like if my waking hours had been shortened.
So now I continue to enjoy my show in a much different venue, in a different environment, on another coast. The show is always different, but the promise remains the same. It’s a new chance to make new marks and impact new lives. The creator of the show still calls, “take it while you have it”. It’s easy to hear the call this time of day, in the stillness. That is until my new morning interruptions arrive. I don’t know about the whole darkness and dawn thing, but I can tell you that it’s always quietest before the seniors.