20 July, 2008

Morning people

Location: the early hours
Mood: engaged

I am starting to think that I like morning people. And I wonder, will I become one myself? It's a strange thing to be saying that, because I like the nightlife. I like to boogie. But there's something lonely and dark about 2am. And there is something uplifting, peaceful, and inspiring about 7am. I don't know how to put it other than that. Though the middle of the night is someplace I have often indulged, I cannot say that it has brought me any form of happiness, enlightenment, or connection to the world. If anything, my forays into the wee hours have more often than not led to feelings of disconnection, isolation, and despair.

The problem with being up late, is that the further you go with it, the later it gets, the more tired you get. In the morning, on the other hand, you might start off tired, but the further you go with it, the less tired you get, and the more activity is occurring around you. There's a pleasant feeling to being "at it" before anyone else, and seeing the world wake up around you. Instead of that late night feeling of becoming lonelier and lonelier, the morning is the opposite.

And I really like the people that I encounter in the morning. Everyone seems to be glad that they're awake. I don't work in an environment where an early start is mandatory. Thus, wherever I go in my week, the people I see in the early morning are people who have chosen to live their life this way. People have a bounce in their step. An extra warm greeting. Insights about the beauty of the world that seem genuine. An energy to them, possibly fueled by large amounts of caffeine, but nonetheless something that puts me in a positive place. And I stay there the whole day.

Contrast that with a late start... up until 4am... no matter how late I sleep, wake up tired, and feeling hung over (even without drinking). And the later I sleep, the more I feel like life has been stolen away from me. My day is shorter. No matter how much I lengthen it on the back end, those hours gone from the beginning of the day feel like hours you cannot recover in any way. And if it's late to work, then there's the guilt. Not that there is an absolutely concrete consequence to late arrival, but I still hear those critical internal voices of "slacker" inside my head. Contrast that with an early start... even if I waste hours of my morning, I am still proud of myself for being up and around.

What is it about people of the morning? Why do you choose to be here with me? And why am I so excited to see your faces, or your little green dots online? Because you are part of my happy start? I don't know. I never thought of myself as a creature of routine - but now I realize that I really like to see the morning faces. I want to pay those visits. I want to see Donica in the morning for my coffee at Essential Baking Company. She knows exactly what I am going to order, and she knows my name, and I feel like there's a little positive spark of energy that comes from my hellos with her, or any of the other employees there. I want to go to Cafe Presse on a Sunday morning, and be the first one (or one of the first) to arrive, at 7:30am, and be recognized. And to know all the familiar faces.

It's weird to be a regular. But the funny thing is this. Consider this contrast: If you're a regular at the cafe in the morning, then it certainly has a very different feeling, and context, than if you're a regular at the bar on the other end of the day.

Now that I am awake so many mornings, it is interesting to see who else from my world is out there at this time. And to see who is not. I know who I can contact at what time, and sometimes it does feel a little sad to realize that I need to wait until x o'clock to make any phone calls on the west coast, lest I should piss off my friends.

So why does it feel so good? Really? I suppose this is the "circadian" way of living, yes? In the absence of technology, we rise with the sun, and we set with the sun. So am I closer to living naturally? Am I reducing the strain on my body by aligning with the pattern that it naturally would seek?

But I am less lonely this way. And I feel less isolated. I feel like I am okay with myself. I feel like the morning is my time to explore the world, and just be. On the other end of the day, I always felt like I was left alone because I had nobody, and because I wasn't tired enough to sleep, but there was no one left to talk to. And it felt like I could not let go of the day, or else I would be losing something precious. When I start the day off early, the day rises to greet me.

I am at Cafe Presse, and one of the servers is wearing a beautiful summer dress, with a maple leaf in her hair, as she walks around on the benches along the perimeter of the room, dusting the paintings and pictures on the wall.

And this is a great morning.

1 comment:

  1. this is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

    Absolutely poetic! truly...

    And I fully agree! I have always preferred mornings to nights. They are times of peace and potential. A walk in the garden, painting in the morning sun pouring in the window with a cup of tea or coffee. Just sitting in silence, listening to the awakening world. Being out and about in the city is still another thing. Morning people say "good day", you walk by and they smile and make eye contact and talk to you. Night people avoid looking at each other. People passing in the dark meet with suspicion and caution.

    I LOVE that you have discovered this....I was always sad that you wanted to stay up so late "just because" it was too early to sleep. Can we do early breakfast soon?