I get up early. Now, just how early depends on the time of year it is and what’s going on around the ranch. During these cold winter days, the average time I roll out of bed is about 5:15—some days it’s a little later, some days it’s earlier. In the hot summer months, though, it’s earlier—more in the 4:00 to 4:30 range. And after doing this for a large chunk of my life, I can honestly say I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here are some of the reasons that “early morning” is my favorite time of day.
The house is quiet.
Whether the kids are still asleep in bed or have left to work cattle for the day, early morning is the quietest my house ever gets when I’m awake. I heard a news report (early this morning, by the way!) that the human brain needs occasional waking moments of quiet in order for the body to work as it should. I breath it in and out whenever I can get it!
The dogs are full of vim and vigor.
Now, someone with more energetic dogs might look at this as something not to love…but when you have two Basset Hounds, it’s always fun to see them during those first few moments of the morning, when they’re sniffing around the yard and jumping up and down (in their own special way), celebrating whatever it is Bassets feel they need to celebrate in the morning. The rest of the day, they’re pretty much zonked out, so this burst of energy is always a novelty.
Coffee is involved.
I’m addicted. Hopelessly addicted. Unapologetically addicted. Desperately addicted. The promise of coffee (iced coffee, in my case) is such a driving force for getting out of bed, I often worry what would happen if a plague destroyed all the coffee beans in the world. I probably would never move.
Though there would still be chocolate…
It’s my time to read Psalms.
I often wax rhapsodic about my love for Psalms, but it’s very real. I love it, I devour it, I inhale it, and sometimes I try to figure out why. Then I remember that once in my twenties, I closed my eyes to pray about a particular situation. Without wanting to wig you out too much, I suddenly had a very clear image in my mind of God wrapping his arms around me—not just once, but a thousand times. His arms kept growing and enveloping me over and over—sort of like something you would see Jim Carrey do in “The Mask” or Reed Richards do in “The Fantastic Four…” only with more of a spiritual angle. Ha. Anyway, it was such a tangible realization of God’s comfort and protection—and I think that’s what Psalms does for me.
Add the quiet house and the coffee (and the Basset Hounds? Maybe not.) and that feeling is only amplified.
It’s a brand new day.
I haven’t eaten too much chocolate (see above) yet, I haven’t piled up any dirty dishes yet, I haven’t checked my to-do list yet, and I haven’t done anything overly dorky. Yet. There’s no better feeling than the fresh slate the morning brings…no matter how short-lived it turns out to be!
Texts from my mom.
A lot of my early rising has to do with conditioning after years of being married to a man in agriculture. But I think I also come by it honestly. My mom’s an early riser, too, and if she texts me it’s usually between 5:00 and 6:00 am, and usually something sunshiny and chatty.
Oh, you know—no big deal. Just the sky turning lapis and magenta and tangerine and ruby and gold all at the same time.
I’ve been in the country almost twenty years, and I’ve never once gotten tired of a sunrise.