A Love Affair

For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with early mornings.  This morning, out of the blue, I think I came to understand why.

After I awaken from a night’s sleep and shake off the haze and confusion of the transition from sleep to consciousness, I’m alone with my thoughts.  I’m able to focus my mind on important things.  I use that time to ask questions that have no answers, at least no answers I understand. Questions like, “If we had no way to measure time, would the concept of time have any meaning to us?”  Some people might consider such a question frivolous, a waste of brain cells. I don’t. I think giving long, serious consideration to questions like that leads to a deeper understanding of the world around us.

But back to the issue at hand.  I think I understand why I love the morning so very much.  Part of it is the sense of wonder at those complex questions.  The single most important explanation, though, relates to the nature of morning, itself, and the way the day unfolds from darkness to light.

There is a period very early in the morning—a time before hints of the sun’s glow begin to show in the dark sky— that is remarkably peaceful. Even if the sky is clear, the moon full, and stars abundant, darkness wraps me in a cocoon.  I know, but can’t see, most of what surrounds me as I stand outside, glancing around me and looking up at the sky.  That darkness and the absence of the sounds of human activity is calming.

When I stand outdoors, basking in that predawn tranquility, I feel closer to nature than to humanity.  I feel I’m about to enter a day that I’ve never experienced and that, just by being there at this very moment, I will have an opportunity to shape a little slice of time simply by deciding how I will react to the day that is about to unfold before me.

Then, as the glow of the approaching day brightens and my cocoon lifts from around me to reveal the trees and the grass and the earth beneath my feet, I feel I’m sharing a secret with the sky and the ground and even the air I breathe.

This morning, just days after Fall began, I saw the connection between early morning and early Spring.

The trees begin to leaf and plants start to show themselves above the soil, announcing Spring, a new season that will be brighter and softer and more vibrant than the one just ended.  There is promise of new growth and the return of flora and fauna that ran away from the harshness of Winter.  I experience early mornings in much the same way I experience early Spring.  By witnessing the world as it changes from predawn darkness to early light, I feel like I’m witnessing something like the change from Winter to Spring.

That must be it.  What else could it be?  What else could explain this love affair I have with early mornings?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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