Do you ever wake up and immediately pinch your inner wrist, just to feel the pain of being alive, feeling damn thankful despite the exhaustion? I do. Or at least, that’s how I’ve been this week, in light of the Manchester bombing and daily reminders of the far away war in Syria. Had I been religious, I might have even prayed. I might still do and thank every deity past and present for my privilege. There is a roof over my head, a view of twinkling stars above my bed and I never miss dinner. Ever.
Early mornings remind me of my privilege. Those few moments in the silence, before everyone else is awake. Humans always do their overthinking at night, in the sanctity of our beds. But mornings are a splash of cool water on a dirty face, aloe Vera gel on a ridiculously bad sunburn. Mornings are a relief; a fresh slate, ready for another day of storms. Or perhaps today the sun will shine? Think positive.
I’ve become one of those people who drinks lemon water and reads the happiest newspaper articles I can find to my cats, when nobody is awake or at home. I am taking my complaints and shoving them in an old jam jar. Eventually you may forget the jar was ever there, waiting at the back of the cupboard. Or maybe you might open it from time to time, shift through old pain. Maybe a ghostly hand will open it without your permission. I think that’s okay too.
I maintain that I am cranky in the mornings, and believe me I am. But right now there is nobody to be cranky with, only William, the in-your-face-orange canary demanding the radio to be turned on, or possibly looking for dandelions. I do not speak bird. But I am taking solace in the mostly silence, tiny background chirps providing a comforting white noise. It is a reflection on nights gone past and mornings yet to come, before an invasion of political news lights my nerves on fire.
It is a reflection that becomes nothing at all; pleasure in simply sitting and existing, before contemporary urban madness breaks out like a feverish sweat.
Early mornings are the pleasure of being alive.