I’m just not a morning person.
But whenever I’m up and going in the morning I’m glad of it. Unless I’m so tired from a late night that I can’t hardly move my tongue, to even speak. I’m nocturnal by nature. I’ve been lectured, chastised, and purposefully embarrassed by others for my late-night habits.
My children are not late for school. I’m quite capable getting them there earlier than they need to be, even if I’d rather sleep. I love to sleep. But nighttime seems to give me a sort of serenity and focus that I love. Even as a kid, I loved to be outside late at night. We’d camp in our backyard on summer nights, a friend and I. We’d tiptoe away from the tent at two or three in the morning, walk around the block, and just marvel at how utterly free we felt when there was no one awake but us, out there on the sidewalk. It was magical. We planned our future escapes, when we would be sixteen, with licenses to drive. We’d planned to take my parents’ car and tour the state for several weeks during the summer. We were callow enough to believe we could do this, that somehow, our parents would consent, let alone do without their own car for several weeks. I can still remember that feeling of possibility that is only bourne in the night. Night is still magical for me, and even now, my some of my nighttime plans do feel fantastical in the harsh light daytime reality. But still. It’s what I do, this sort of thinking, and some of the night’s private plans have grown into something worthwhile.
I won’t be diminished because I’m a night person.
I often volunteer for the morning drive shift to school because as much as it’s sometimes a visceral effort to pull myself from delicious slumber and now that it’s still dark again, in the mornings, oh, my pillow just wants me as much as I want it. Once I’m awake and ambulatory and have gotten myself into the car, I’m doing all right. I deposit the kids at school (and still, after all these years, so glad to have those grade school years behind me) and then, it’s just me and my thoughts again. The same as it was just a few hours earlier…when it was night.
And I like it.
I don’t want to get to the gym and push myself through a hard core work out, though. Not at 8:00am, which for many, isn’t even early, but I’m a slow starter. I like my workouts late in the day as it suits my energy level and body rhythm. A happy morning for me means latte, reading, writing, and taking a few photos, usually and unfortunately with only iPhone on hand. I observe. And I see that most of the world loves its mornings.
This morning I watched a hang-glider soar over the beach. He or she must have felt euphoric, soaring at sunrise.
They’re magical when you’re leaving early for a day trip to somewhere like my favorite spring, on a humid summer morning. Or on a bigger trip, one involving an airplane. They’re magical when you take a red-eye flight from the west coast heading east and the plane goes silent, all slumped oddly, shoved into such small spaces but managing to doze nonetheless. It’s magical to wake up and debark into a busy airport with serious business travelers clutching coffees and Wall Street Journals and USA Todays and laptops. I entered the airplane in full night-mode, and walked off three and a half hours later into a throng of people moving about with serious purpose.
At the beach, people are moving with serious purpose too. Casting their lines into the water from the pier. Surfing before work. Biking. Exercise walking. Jogging stroller jogging. Hang gliding.
I can even force myself to get to a gym class if I know I simply cannot attend a night class but then I can’t enjoy the slow cooker approach to morning. The nature of my work allows me this sort of flexibility, which has its benefits as well as challenges.
Living at the beach makes all this morning even better. It’s good to read near the beach…and write…and see the sun come up when it’s still in its golden moments, next to the iconic Jax Beach Pier.