If the darkest hour is just before dawn, it’s also the sweetest. Most days I unwrap it with great anticipation, like a piece of fine chocolate.
Generally, I have the place to myself when I rise before dawn; I get to sip a little tea and watch the sun stretch its golden streaks of optimism over the sky.
It feels kind of indulgent to get a sneak peak at the day, to be among the first to know how that particular air will taste and breeze will feel.
On ambitious days, I head out and, if I time my jog just right, I get to see the sun rise over the river as I make my way down and then up a certain hill. It’s a pretty glorious way to start a day.
Other times I go to the Y where I meet a whole sub-species of unnaturally cheerful humans moving through the dark mid-week mornings with un-caffeinated energy and charm. They startled me with their friendliness the first time I hauled myself to the gym for an early morning fitness class and they’re still motivation for me to leave my house on cold winter mornings.
There are days, of course, especially after restless nights, when I silence my cellphone alarm and burrow back under my covers. It’s still my favorite time of day, though, and I get my deepest sleep in those stolen extra hours.
But I regret every single sunrise I missed because they, like rainbows and sunsets, are like little miracles of light that remind us of our place in the world.