There’s a sweet spot that exists every morning – when the light returns and dreams taper into images the eye can gather into focus. There is a right time to arise. I do not wake up to alarms, and even though I gifted my husband with a Zen clock that gently chimes at a selected hour, I can sense even his arm reaching, before daybreak, stifling the small click that precedes the tone.
Arising in darkness conjures years spent on the road in sales – cruising behind hopped up tractor trailer drivers on icy highways headed too far north – recalls chunky salted gravel and cracked windshields, gold jewelry and high heels; competitive striving and the stale breath of poverty blowing straight down the back of my youthful neck. If I were to whitewash memories a bit, I’d cast back to a childhood spent in anticipation of oceans and lakes, deserts and mountains – places out of the city where my young soul gulped the rarified air of freedom. But it meant arising at four, and even then it seemed a sacrilege to shuffle about before the sun decided to broadcast another day.
Before society inures us to bustle – in a time preceding the noise of family squabbles, electronics and the overall din of civilization – beats a heart yearning for serenity. The head conditions itself to busyness while the soul basks in silence. The further I have returned to that innate longing, the stronger my penchant for solace in open oceans and in quiet forest glades.
It is enough when, startled, a murder of crows ascends to the sky – gathering like a torrid thundercloud seeking to release itself once again upon a verdant land. The beating of a hundred pairs of shiny black wings telegraphs a bolt of voltage clear down to my toes. Alarm clock be damned, if I need to rise, I have only to remember that flock of birds or the thrill of a giant manta gliding right toward me out of the blue. Seeded long enough in memory, these and a million other startling images prove adequate to awaken me from the deepest slumber.