Anyone could, and will, tell you I am not an early morning person. I love to slowly wake up, wander out of bed, find some orange juice, and then go back and sit in bed with my breakfast and laptop to check my e-mail and wander around on Facebook. I am not the person to bursts into the day with vigor and enthusiasm. I am like a diesel engine: it might take a bit for me to warm up, but once I do, I’m all about getting stuff done.
With that in mind, it surprises me how much I like having early morning classes. My friends think I’m crazy to get up at 6 a.m. to catch the 7 o’clock bus for an 8 a.m. class. Yes, it’s rather odd, I will be the first to admit that.
But after I’m out of bed, usually with the help of some coffee and cereal, I love feeling like I’m the only one in the world. I love being the first person awake in the house, a real accomplishment considering Kelley gets up at 7 on the weekends. It’s peaceful and quiet and I get that time to start my brain before anyone tries to make me use it.
Then I say good-bye to Oedipus and leave the house while it’s still dark outside. I admit that part of my day can be a little creepy. This morning, for instance, I was nearly scared to death by someone taking their dog outside. [side note: people should not just stand still all creepy like while waiting for Fido to do his business. Seriously, very disturbing!]
I stand on the corner, looking east not only for the bus, but also for any signs that the sun will rise. The sky turns just a little orange, and I remember the days in August when it was full-blown daylight while I waited.
The bus arrives, and I get on, flashing my N Card and neon green bus pass. Once I get to downtown, I walk a few blocks toward campus. Oh, to feel the early morning air and only see a few other people. I barely watch for cars as I cross streets. The city is just waking up, just stretching its legs and yawning as I trudge through the mushy old snow.
On campus all is still quiet. The Union has barely opened, and the woman at Starbucks is a little more friendly than she will be later during the rush. We take time to say good morning and how are you and have a good day. And we mean it.
The light seeps over Love Library as I walk to my first class, and when I get to CBA, the whole building seems to be a little blurry, like it still needs its morning cup before it can properly greet students and faculty.
I slip into my first class and sit with my latte and organize my day planner and list.
Then the inevitable happens: the classroom starts filling; the magic is lost.
And it’s on to the rest of my day with To Do Lists, and rushed walking from class to class, and homework assignments, and work, and all of these things I try to keep straight in my head, but won’t really get truly sorted until the next morning when I repeat the whole business.
Sometimes, when I feel silly, I answer my phone, “Good morning, sunshine. The day greets you!” I can’t even remember where I got the line. I think my high school friend Emily had something to do with it in combination with Dharma and Greg. Even though I mostly mean it as a joke, I can’t help but smile at that early tinge of light in the east and think, “Good morning, sunshine. I’m so glad you’re here. I greet you with all my heart.”
And I know, no matter what happens, I can come back to that place, that feeling, and feel the stress seep out of my bones and know that moment is mine, just mine, all mine.