I’m a night owl by design. Sunrise, in my opinion, is best seen through the eyes of the night before, rather than as a first view upon waking. Many times I’ve sat, slightly crumpled and ashy from a long night of revelling, at an early opening sidewalk café, slouching in my all night jaded gear with that one last tequila sitting on an all too white table, and watched the early risers jogging healthfully and bright-eyed in an attempt to push their bodies towards something . . .more.
I was a surreptitious child – always believing that the most exciting things happened at night, when I was a sleep. Father Christmas, the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny all sneaked in while I was off in some or other dreamscape. I’d sometimes steal out of bed when everyone was asleep and just wander the rooms of my home, peeking into cupboards or quietly nibbling on the store of chocolate biscuits I could only reach by climbing precariously on an upended bucket.
I love the peculiar quiet of night, tiny snores and snuffles of sleeping people and animals that can’t really be detected by the ear, but felt by the soul.
But, needs must; and I have become an early morning riser. Its hard going, this rallying in the face of need, to change my core; to be alert to the morning sounds of life stirring and the insistency of my maniacal alarm clock (tuned to the most intrusive sound I could find).
Fitting in to the rhythm of other’s is so fraught with imbalance and difficulty. To love and be loved, one must (how I hate that word) settle into a compromise of your true self and the one that’s acceptable for public consumption. If we all gave in to our little desires and quirks, I’m not sure what would happen.
Now still, when I am awoken at some sound in the middle of the night, I have a delicious sense of rebelliousness. The choice is mine – to get up and breathe in the soul-pacifying beauty of deep night, or attempt to return to whatever dream my mind conjured up. My practical nature seems to win more often than my soul, though, and I find myself irritated because I know I have to get up and be wholly human in a mere hour or so. I know that my body isn’t able anymore to rally strongly and readily for another day without much sleep.
Oh but the joy of being free for just a moment, of not having to speak or look or be a certain way. To be able to give in to my mind’s ramblings, to strike a yoga pose in the middle of a thought or walk naked in filtered moonlight. My senses seem more in tune, alert, in focus in the hours between midnight and dawn. The rest of life is almost a messy, intangible dream.
How do you remain true to your particular design and still fit in with the world, your loved ones and the demands of normality? I’m not sure, but perhaps a tiny breakaway is all that’s needed. A short foray into the world of night at 4.30 this morning awakened my senses and made me more ready for the day than I usually am.
Perhaps tonight will see me pirouetting in my cold garden, wet grass sticking to my toes with a delicious tickle, the moon gently creating a silvery glint to my eyes.
But for now, the sun is bright in the sky and I have things to do, people to love and conversations to have.