In Praise of Early Mornings

Moon

Insomnia can be a drag. I don’t think I’ve actually had a really solid night’s sleep since my first child was born almost 26 years ago. First of all it’s the usual – feeding, teething, nightmares. Then it becomes a habit to wake up every few hours. After that, the teenage years come to keep you (well, me) wide awake and staring into the dark for hours at a time. Then, suddenly, you’re an old lady and everybody knows that old ladies sleep very lightly.

But, as with all problems, there are sometimes perks. I no longer lie in bed staring at the ceiling. I get up and explore. Those very early mornings have become a special time for me. It’s as if I’ve made a heist from the time bank and I have an hour or so to fritter away.

First of all, a cup of tea must be made.

The essential early morning companion.

The essential early morning companion.

After that, what to do? Sometimes I just wander around the house admiring the sheer artistry of the mess a family can create. Strewn clothing, the table buried in a pile of newspapers, magazines and neglected paperwork. Somehow at that time in the morning it doesn’t seem right to worry about tidying, so I can just appreciate the story of how everything got where it came to rest. I am always somewhat comforted by a quote from a Globe and Mail columnist I read years ago that said something about the homes of the most interesting people “showing signs of recent struggle”. I often think that (a) we must be really fascinating and (b) our housekeeping style has the added bonus of being a burglary deterrent. “Hmm, this place has already been ransacked — let’s move on.”

Our house is pretty chilly in the early hours, before the furnace comes on, so in winter I start the day in woollen slippers and a double layer of dressing gowns — one flannel, one fleece. This is a handy because I can slip out of the house, onto the roof deck, or into the garden, without immediately freezing to death.

Frost on the coral bark maple.

Frost on the coral bark maple.

Sometimes I even venture out of the garden in my multi-layered dressing gown attire. Luckily we have understanding neighbours.

Sometimes I even venture out of the garden in my multi-layered dressing gown attire. Luckily we have understanding neighbours.

Everything at that special hour seems somehow very particular. In that little bubble of time I like to watch the birds arriving and see how they start their feathered days.

A pine siskin takes a moment in the ice fog for a little personal grooming.

A pine siskin takes a moment in the ice fog for a little personal grooming.

Two Robins, One Starling

Two Robins, One Starling

I like to look up at my particular little patch of hydro wire criss-crossed sky and see it changing. Every dawn is like the turning of a mini-season.

Crows enjoying the moonset as the sun rises.

Crows enjoying the moonset as the sun rises.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Crows enjoying a rosy dawn.

Always, when I look to the east, I see the crows returning in small groups from the roost at Still Creek. They settle on the wires and enjoy the view for a while, do a little grooming, have a bite to eat — and then we all go on about our respective busy days.

Who needs Tiffany, when you have nature's diamond necklace?

Who needs Tiffany, when you have nature’s diamond necklace?

A frosty take off. Things to get to at the office ...

A frosty take off. Things to get to at the office …

 

logo with crow

8 thoughts on “In Praise of Early Mornings

  1. Hi June, Your comments about the Globe and Mail’s columnist reminds me of a little framed piece I just had to buy years ago which had a small drawing of a goose, I think, with the caption “Dull women have immaculate homes”.
    Love your early morning images.

  2. I so look forward to your latest. I have to laugh. I’m in my 70’s, live alone except for Honey, my adopted 5-yr-old male Pom (my dearest little friend, companion, clown, body guard, reason to get up each morning)! You describe your clutter caused by your family. My house looks the same, but I have no one to blame it on except myself! So many more important things to be doing in my senior years. My birds, squirrels, and stray cats are probably at the top of my priority list. And I, too, love nature. Although I have a 3/4 acre lot on a deadend street and a fenced in back yard, I still take Honey out for his nightly constitutional before bed (usually between 1 & 4 am). I never tire of the moon, stars, changes in the weather, outdoor smells, and all of God’s other offerings. Love your pix. I’m noticing my goldfinches are back for the winter, along with the crows (aren’t they wonderful!), and other migrating birds. Eastern Washington definitely has its climates, hot in summer, cold in winter, so I do get my seasons. Didn’t mean to rattle on; just wanted you to know you make an old lady happy sharing your life and interests, since many of them match mine, and I really have no one to talk to about what makes me happy!
    Diane S.

  3. Hi Diane, Sorry it’s taken me a couple of days to reply. I was doing a four day market which was pretty hectic. I just wanted to say that I love your comments and hearing from you about of all the things that make you happy — which, as you say, are very similar to my list. I just noticed a crowd of goldfinches in my garden too this week. They look so brilliant in colour next to the very grey sky and leafless branches. I’m not sure if ours will stick around for the Vancouver winter, or if they have travel plans for warmer, drier climes. Your comment was in no way, rattling. Rather eloquent. Another thing on my list of things that makes me happy, is hearing from you! Cheers, June

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s