There is something that, physically, keeps me from easily waking up early in the morning. No matter what time I get to sleep the previous evening, I always have a hard time waking up before 9:30 am, whether it be on four hours of sleep or ten.
I woke up this morning and because it has become so cold, I had to go out and heat up my car before I was ready to leave. I walked outside in the cold air and couldn't believe how quiet it was. "Quiet" isn't a sufficient word... it was so still. I felt like I should be tiptoeing across the sidewalk for fear of waking up the earth. No wind, no animals, no people, no cars in the distance. Perfectly still. I know that some of you may be saying, "You really need to get out more in the morning!" But really, that is why I brought up the first point. It is, physically, very challenging for me to wake up after my mind has been at rest for the night. And when I do wake up early, I rarely go outside. Don't think I enjoy sleeping in all the time; I really don't.
I have heard that some of the most important personal moments happen in the early hours of the day. Pondering, praying, studying, meditating: the results can be emphasized by doing it early in the morning. The morning feels safer. I had to run to the store before work this morning and the parking lot was sparse. When I shop at night, I have to stay uber-aware of my surroundings and who is near me. But in the morning, a lot of threatening feelings seem to dissapate (I am still aware, however. Don't worry!).
Can I make a confession? I have a very vivid picture of the ultimate peace. I "experienced" it in a dream not long ago. I had a cute little cottage in the middle of a lush green forest. I woke up around 6 in the morning and started for the door. It was already light out and the perfect temperature filled the air. There was a light fog floating above the ground. I pulled my hair into a ponytail and started walking. When I came to a river running through the forest, I easily passed it, walking across a fallen log. After a few more minutes of slow walking, I came to an opening where the view of a lake unfolded before my eyes. I sat down on a wooden dock, resting above the motionless water. I just sat there, feeling how quiet life was at that moment. Then I woke up for real at 10 am to a dark room (we have a thick blanket over our cold windows) and needing to use the bathroom really badly (maybe it was that river...). I had that groggy feeling you get from oversleeping just slightly. I felt anything but peaceful. The contrast was stark in my mind and still is.
Maybe some day, I will get that cottage in the forest with Gabriel and we can live in peace without highways, car engines, and rowdy neighbors. In fact, I will take this cabin that a woman remodeled into a darling victorian cottage:
How lovely is that?!