Monday, January 18, 2016

Early Morning Serenity

Sometimes, people express surprise at how early I arise, although, trust me, it's far later than I used to rise when we ran the newspaper routes.

The alarm went off at 11:45, and it was set fifteen minutes ahead to build in "snooze" time. So for many, many, many years, I started each new day the previous day.

There's something enchanting about being awake when the rest of the world is not. There's something unnatural to me about rising after the sun, a sense that half the day is wasted.

And yet, there's also something very delicious on Saturdays with sleeping in, that lazy "I don't have anything pressing to do today" feeling that can only be relished when one works very hard.

As a very little girl and long before paper delivery for I was not even old enough for school, I often spent time with my maternal grandmother on Parnell in Chicago. My grandfather had to be at work early, so she would get up around three a.m. or so to prepare his breakfast. Often, I woke up when she did and trailed her to the kitchen.

Half-awake, I'd sit at the little side table, gazing out the window into the dark nothing, smelling breakfast smells as she moved about the kitchen, hearing the hiss of the percolator.

When everything was prepared, we returned to bed.

Such clear memories, as if they'd happened last month.

My grandmother died the week after I turned seven, and even the paper route is a long-past memory (We let it go in fall 2011). But sitting at the computer each morning in the dark room, cup of steaming coffee beside me as my mind and body gradually gets used to the fact I won't be returning to bed for many hours, I bask in a peaceful centering that's all mine before I give my day to eveyone else.