Interviews with most of my heroes, be they writers or spiritual wizards, reveal their chosen habit of arising with or before the dawn. They touch in with themselves via meditation, yoga, or mindful walks. Then they write journal entries that make me weep, my heart touched by their wisdom. Drives me crazy! When I awaken at their sacred hour it’s because I had a compelling dream, or a guilty start due to a critical task left undone. Or worse, some memory involving shame and pain.
It’s not that I don’t like the idea of being awake very early. This morning, my wake up call was a compelling dream. I had found a tiny building that I’d forgotten I owned. It was made of old redwood siding, with recycled windows forming most of the walls. I could peer in and see a desk and a couch, some book cases. It looked so cozy and private. Here was the solitude I long for, the quietude that always heals me when I’m jangled. When I awoke, I noticed the digital exactness of 5:14. I focused on the warm comfort under the winter-quilt, joyous that my back didn’t hurt despite yesterday’s three hours in the strawberry patch. But my eyes really wanted to open, and my mind recognized that by being up so very, very early I could enjoy the equivalent of a private retreat. My just-turned-17 year old solidly asleep, and my husband happy to be unaware until I awoke him for his Sunday late morning meeting.
Now, five hours later, I am stunned at my sense of being fresh. Laundry hanging on the line soaking up February’s brave sunshine. I wrote about some of the shame and pain stuff, but just for tiny bit–it seems to help to name it. And I am committed to not beating myself about the head and ears for not being an early riser by habit. Sometimes it is just a gift.