When I was a kid, I liked to stay up late, usually reading…but I didn’t like being the only one in the house awake. I can remember my mom telling me she was going to bed in fill in the blank minutes and I would be asleep before her head hit the pillow.
Sleep on demand! What a lovely concept!
Habits changed when my first child came along. While she, too, liked to stay up late (I can still see those bright blue eyes staring at me at midnight) she also was an early riser, and I reluctantly went along with her baby clock. Eventually my night owl persona faded away and I joined the morning person crowd.
My kids are grown; officially I don’t start my workday until 9 o’clock and I office from home so there is no commute, no pressure to get up with the chickens but still I find myself keeping the early morning hours. I love the quiet of the morning, hate the silence of the night.
I live on Galveston Island. It is June now, height of tourist season, and our streets are filled with visitors who seem to have forgotten that even though they have crossed the causeway, rules of the road still apply. I understand that they are only driving one way, but life would be easier – and safer – if they drove with the rest in the direction the one-way sign indicates. Golf carts are restricted to certain streets in town but those rented by tourists who, again, pay no attention to guidelines, swarm like ants on every road.
It's chaos. It’s tourist season.
BUT…. early in the morning, while the visitors sleep, it is calm and almost quiet. A drive down any street resembles a scene from a movie, with workers getting into their trucks, ready to face the day. Shopkeepers sweep the sidewalk in front of their stores; people are tending their yards before the heat of the day makes that task unbearable. There is a smell of salt water in the gentle Gulf breezes. The night crews have done their jobs in the wee hours so the beaches are clean. There might be a standup paddleboarder taking advantage of the smooth waters and gentle waves. Shrimp boats are near the beach, nets heavy with the morning’s haul, often with dolphins in their wake, breaching the surface.
It's idyllic. It’s paradise.
I live six blocks from the Gulf. My verandah faces the south and there are days when I can leave the doors open, feel the nearly constant sea breeze, and hear the Gulf. That side of the house catches the morning sun so it is better suited for drinks in the late afternoon. I have a porch swing in the back, a perfect spot for coffee. When my granddaughter Goosey Lucy was young, it was our favorite place to sit, watching the birds gather on the wires, noticing their pecking order and that when a new one would land, another would have to leave. From our upstairs view we could see the feral cats playing in the neighbors’ yards and stalking the squirrels in the live oak trees.
It's peaceful. It’s home.
It’s my favorite time of the day. It’s morning.