Friday, April 25, 2008


There's so much light spilling through the windows I thought it was later than it is. I usually have a good sense of time and don't often have to look at the clock to tell what time it is, rather knowing almost intuitively from the position of the sun, but my intuition is off this morning. I guess it's because I didn't wake up until 6:30 instead of my usual 4 a.m. I don't know where they move to morning person came from or why after decades of shunning dawn, except when I stayed up all night, I feel ready to get out of bed and get on with my day. I'd say it's moving closer to becoming a senior but that seems like a too easy answer and doesn't really answer anything. I still stay up until pretty late, although sometimes I am ready to crawl into bed at 9 p.m., and sometimes even 8 p.m., after long full days of work. Then there is a reason to get up in the dark hours before the sun pushes up over the horizon. Maybe it's the birds that start singing the sun up even before it's ready to stretch forth it's gaze and spill molten light over the distance that wake me, except that I'm usually up before they are. I do remember when it first happened -- at the cabin.

There were no blinds or curtains or drapes or anything at the windows in the cabin and I moved the bed so I could see the sun rise through the pines in lock step formation down the hill. A woodpecker began his tap-tap-tap-tapping in high speed staccato and the sound drilled into my dreams, tap-tap-tapping on my shoulder to get my attention. I'd brush it off and plunge back into my dreams when the first golden spears struck my eyelids and bored down into my dreams. I'd burrow deeper into the covers but the light bent and twisted and found me again while the woodpecker tap-tap-tapped more insistently.

At first, I grumbled and carped about being waked before the morning was distant enough and then I opened my eyes one morning and was stunned, my usual grumble half carped, as liquid gold showered everything from snow-capped mountains to serried ranks of ragged firs, welling over the dusty window sill and gilding the dusty spider web, turning it into a complicated cat's cradle touched by Midas. I was awed. I didn't need an alarm clock any more as my body and senses tuned to the light and the darkness and the rhythms all around me. I knew the moon's phases as well as my own inner rhythms and welcomed the full rising moon on nights when everything was an ethereal blue and the spider webs danced and drifted on unseen currents like luminous ghosts. Even in the midst of my technological playground, I was intimately aware of the music and movement of the world around me. For the first time in my life, the sun wasn't a heartless taskmaster pulling me from soothing and adventurous dreams to a cold, harsh reality but a soft lover's whisper that illuminated a warm and welcome reality. Glorious morning and mysterious night were playgrounds where I played and danced and breathed with equal joy, one no longer more dear or more welcome than the other.

You could say I'm a morning and a night person now, shifting easily from one to the other as the seasons turn and the earth and sun continue their dance to and fro, far and near.

I have lost a little of that communion in the past few weeks, but it's a temporary loss. It will return when reality settles into a new pattern and there are no other sounds or energies to distract me.

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