The Early Birdie

As I sit here, having my morning coffee at 3:45 AM, I can’t help wonder what makes me the early riser. Is it a genetic deficiency? Is it restlessness? Is it that stupid timer on the thermostat that allows the house to cool down at night to save money, and then relentlessly fires up in the early morning hours to bring it back to a reasonable temperature?

My friends and work colleagues all find it a bit unusual. I routinely get responses to early morning emails commenting on my peculiar sleep habits. Some will simply respond, ‘go back to bed’. You can search the web and fine songs full of angst about the loneliness and despair of the ‘Early Morning Hours’. The only one that doesn’t complain is Bella, our Golden Retriever. To a creature that lives to eat and love, there is nothing better than early breakfast. She always beats me down the hall to her breakfast dish, and once filled, she diligently dispatches of her food. Afterward a few post-breakfast face rubs across the sofa and on the floor, tail wagging furiously the entire time, she visits me for a few scratches, and then goes back to her bed.

You know what? I am up early because it is the best time of day. Let’s face it. In a world where we are all bombarded via a growing number of communications mechanisms constantly, it is really the only time of night or day when you can sit in complete quiet, have a nice hot cup of coffee, and engage in very high quality thinking. As I write, I have not heard a single sound outside. This is the sweet spot between the time when all of the night owls, except for a few most extreme, have given it up and tucked in; and before the bulk of early risers start their days. In the fall, it is the time when conditions are correct and frost forms on the ground. In the winter, it is the time when you turn on the outside lights to assess how much snow has fallen over night, and therefore how much shoveling you’ll need to do. In the spring, the warming ground and melting snow will create the most incredibly beautiful fog, muting all but the closest sounds. In the summer, it is the beginning of dawn and the time you’ll be entertained by just a few of the ‘early birds’ chirping and whistling. The sweet spot is the transition, when the night relinquishes control and the morning reclaims ownership of the clock.

I absolutely love the sweet spot of the day. It is fresh and new, and for these few minutes before the day erupts, all things are possible. But alas, this time is fleeting and should be relished, so it is time for me bid you farewell. Enjoy and good morning.

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