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before dawn.

April 16, 2009

img_2773I love waking up before the sun rises.

It feels like I’m the only person awake, and the stars are still twinkling, and the moon (sometimes) is still up, and the birds have just started to sing, and there is nobody around.

I love sitting outside when it’s this dark and quiet, or finding a soft spot to sit down and do some breathing. It feels good to sit and breathe when the air is still cool and dark. When the earth has been regenerating itself all night.

And then  slowly, the world starts to stir. A couple of cars drive by. A light comes on down the street. It gets a bit lighter; the stars fade. More lights come on. A dog and its person walk by. Then another one. Kettles go on, and toasters pop. The silence has been broken.


When I was in high school in Palm Springs, I’d often stay up all night so that I could go out walking on the golf course around 4am. Towards the end of the summer, in the desert, the storms come in. I would lie on a hill out on the golf course and watch these enormous lightning storms fight it out like ancient gods over the mountains, until it started to get light.

It might be because of the silence and lack of people– I often like silence and lack of people. Or it might be because the silence and lack of people makes it feel sacred. I feel like if magical things were to happen, then they would happen before dawn. And, well you know, when it snows, and you wake up in the morning and the world is completely covered in white, well all that magic has happened in the couple of hours before the world got light– like little snow fairies have been working their asses off to cover everything before they are discovered. So of course, if you are up at that time, then you will see them. Or like Santa Claus– staying up means that you will see Santa Claus. If you believe in that sort of thing. All kinds of magical things happen before dawn. Of course, I’m often too groggy to actually experience them fully, but sitting and breathing is magical enough. Cool air, open window, stars outside, moon setting, birds chirping, tea brewing, cat purring, world asleep. Yes please.


By the way, if you haven’t seen a desert storm, I highly recommend it.

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