Waking up in the darkness …
Waking up in the darkness is like greeting an old friend. I am up before the day begins. Showered, dressed and at the ready with the coffee brewing enough before 6:00 AM to be able to accomplish something.
Much of life is like that. Encountering our habits and our dreams as so many disassembled actions which when put together mean something. I’m guessing that intention is what rules. The intention to place meaning on an action. To rise to write or shadowbox or to go for a run, the predawn activities of garbage trucks making their rounds along with one’s fellow denizens of the early morning: workers hastily making their way to 6:00 AM shifts, the Starbucks crew stocking the cases with morning buns, thin, but meaningful crowds of sleepy people breathing just a little bit heavier as they finish their climbs from the subterranean world of the F train.
As with many of us, my days are punctuated by the necessities. The having to be somewheres, the hours of interstitial comings and goings that amounts to bits of drift time lolling on subways, smart phones in hand or going old-school with newspapers or books, or the quiet expanse of thoughts held together by the glue of sudden awareness as stops enter and exit from view.
All of those hours culminate in being tired, in rounding out the day with making dinner and talking across the table with family before running out in all weather to walk the dog or pick-up a forgotten quart of milk. It is time spent hounding children about homework and taking a shower and reminding them to brush their teeth before finally collapsing in front of the television, the brain addled with too much of the day before drifting into uncomfortable bits of sleep, the pants for work crushed in the odd patterns of couch pillows and wondering how it got to be 10:14 PM and an episode of Hawaii 5-0.
Not that today will be so much different, but rising before dawns affords another construct of time. It is a period that belongs to me alone. One that allows me my own intentions before the chore of waking up my daughter begins. I can open the door to her room and call out “time to wake up” knowing that I’ve already accomplished something. While it is not exactly cheating time, as after all it is my sleep that I have curtailed, it feels like a win. A timeout from the usual routine to shake it up somehow. I’ve even managed a minute or two of throwing my arms into the old familiar patterns of a jabs, straight rights and hooks, if only to wakeup the somnambulant boxer who still hides inside my shoulder as I continue PT.
Perhaps because Thanksgiving is almost here, I’m feeling that sense of gratefulness that hits me every year. Luckier than lucky is how I think of myself … and here once more before morning to celebrate.