While the extrovert in me loves night to have conversations with people, mornings are my favorite time of the day to be alone. There is something magical about being by yourself in the morning. I could seek peace all day, but nothing will compare to the peace that is so readily available if you wake up early enough to find it. When I lived in New Jersey, I used to wake up early and watch the sun come up from my porch. The view was just trees, but the trees made the air fresh and the birds chirped and I basked in my loneliness. I don’t know if I was happy or sad. I think I was content. Maybe the best way to describe it is “beautiful cool morning blues that give me a warm feeling”. I know, I know, I have such a way with words. But the coolness outside made me feel warm, though I think I mistook the warmness for feeling cold.
Before each first day of high school, my friend Anka and I would go to the high school bleachers and watch the sun come up over the football field. I loved watching the sky go from dark black or blue as it got lighter and lighter. I always wished the transition took longer, though, that time slowed down. Each year different people came- a boyfriend of mine, my twin sister, or sometimes it was just us. We watched the sun come up on a new year. I desperately wanted those sunrises to provide me with peace, but if I’m honest, they usually just made me nostalgic and upset about time passing. Not only did the change from darkness to light happen so fast, but if I was there, it meant it was already September, the start of my favorite 3 month run of the year that would be over before I realize it had begun. September, October, November: I loved going back to school, having a new schedule, meeting new people. I loved Mahwah Day, football and soccer games, homecoming, my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, crisp cool fall air, and the many concerts that branded those months concert season. Everything was pumpkin spice and the weather made me feel alive. I often wonder how, despite loving living in LA, I can live in a place that doesn’t have a traditional fall season. The fall was never just a backdrop for memories or moments, the fall was the star of it all.
I love CA mornings because they remind me of fall, no matter what time of the year it is. The cool air and the birds wake me up. This is different than a traditional fall feeling from New Jersey, since my room in Mahwah never had a door leading to outside. This is my second room to have a plaster door I can leave wide open at night, with the gated screen door locked. I’m both lucky and grateful for this. So I leave the door and my windows open every night, because going to sleep and waking up in the mornings with the cool air gives me that Fall feeling, and that feeling moves the blood in my veins. It gives me life.
My mornings still mean everything to me. I can feel the city asleep around me. Even for a few hours, time is mine. There is an illusion that time slows down in the morning for me, but it moves just as fast. Before I know it, it’s time to think about getting on my mat, making tea, and setting an intention. It’s not that I don’t love my morning routine, I do, I just wish it didn’t go so quickly every morning. I don’t think I can get up much earlier than 5:15 AM. I just enjoy this feeling when peace is mine and I’m alone. I think one day I might like experiencing this feeling with another person. I can see it happening.
The mornings are peaceful because the air is. Maybe it’s a false sense of security though, a false sense of peace, a false sense of life. I imagine the morning of 9/11 felt just the same. The morning of the earthquake in Mexico or the hurricane in Puerto Rico also must have felt serene and calm and quiet, ‘before the storm’, at least at some moment.
Mornings clearly have long-winded associations for me. They make me think of time passing, of fall, of memories, of peace, of loneliness. There is comfort in mornings. They make me think of peace. But I can’t stop thinking about what’s going on in the world, and how quickly, and violently, that peace can be ripped away. Once tragedies, disasters like the ones that have recently occurred, happen, I can only imagine how near impossible, really how long it takes, to find peace again.
We must be part of the collective that helps those in Mexico, in Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean, in Florida, find peace. My heart feels the smallest and uncomparable twinge of pain for those and those who love them in the affected cities today. Donate. Research. Find out what you can do. How you can help. Show your shared humanity. Act on your compassion. Take steps to un-numb yourself. We’ve been so desensitized to tragedy around us. And it hurts to feel the pain of the world. But become aware. Feel hurt. It’s okay. You will survive.