Several of my favorite blogs about simple reading or minimalism include gorgeous photos of sunrise, and musings on the early mornings, and every time I read them, I think about how I would love to be the kind of person who rises early, cheerful and energetic. That only happens when I’m camping. Early or late, when I sleep indoors I wake up slowly, throw on a bathrobe, and slouch downstairs toward the french press. I stay in the bathrobe as late in the day as possible. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a photo of a sunrise in my life.
I have these really clear childhood memories of waking up in my big warm bed and lying there as late as possible, until my parents would practically drag me downstairs for breakfast. We would eat, I’d get dressed in a hurry, and then I’d wait outside for the bus. I had this awesome purple puffy coat that my mom got at a consignment store, and I’d wait outside in the dark, snug in my coat, until the bus rounded the corner. In middle and high school, I had a parrot named Charlie. He spent all morning every morning yelling “Caroline!” and waiting for me to say “what?” so that he could yell “Time to get up!”, and then laugh at me as I pulled the covers up over my head. This may have been how he learned the expressions “shut up!” and “stupid bird,” because 15 year olds aren’t polite to anyone, even parrots.
I thought it would always be this way – I am a girl who really likes to sleep in. Here lately, though, I’m up before dawn most mornings, and I think I’m starting to like it. This is no small thing. Historically, dawn has been my never hour – as in, the hour I never want to see, because I don’t want to be awake that early or still up from the night before. Who knew that dawn would grow on me? In particular, I’ve come to appreciate the way the light shifts across the woods behind our house, lighting up different trees in succession, while I sit and read for class and drink my coffee and eat my sugar free cereal (I’m back on the sugar free bandwagon again…le sigh). I had this idea that I was going to take early morning walks with the dog and enjoy the sunrise, but that hasn’t happened at all. The dog sleeps in even when I don’t, and neither of us relish the cold, so we stay inside and snuggle on the sofa while I read as late into the morning as possible, until it warms up a bit outside. How funny, to finally become an early riser, only to discover that the thing I wanted to actually do with this hour of my day doesn’t appeal to me at all. I open up all of the downstairs curtains so that the house is flooded with light, and I just sit and read and soak in the sunrise while the house is suffused with the smell of coffee.
I still sleep in on the weekends, though. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. In (almost) exactly two months, I will turn 30, and one of my goals before then is to take a single lovely photo of a sunrise.