That liminal moment when it is no longer night time but daytime.
The quiet outside pierced by bird sounds before the gentle hum of traffic builds.
When do I no longer try and get more sleep but roll over and cuddle the cat, stroking her fluffy tummy until she bites me?
This is a time that holds infinite promise of what might become of the day, any dream residue fades as I forcibly blink my eyes open.
I refuse to turn on a lamp or overhead bulb. What’s the point? Nature provides a more gentle approach if only I can swing my legs out of bed and stumble to open the heavy curtains. My organized sister bought herself a smart lamp that she controls via an app on her phone. Programmed to gradually increase the illumination to allow the body to wake gently, it does the reverse in the evening. A return to pre-electricity peasant days perhaps.
My mother will tell you that I’ve never been a morning person like she is. She likes to divide our family into morning and non-morning people. Her category is naturally superior. Morning people get more achieved, are better organized and nicer to be around apparently. I will argue that society is set up for morning people, whilst my B-section of society is actively discriminated against. How is possible that students and employees are expected to be useful contributors at the ungodly hour of 9am every day? There is no consideration for individual bio-rhythms.
My brain doesn’t kick in until after I’ve had breakfast at the decent hour of 10am, and that is only for errands and procedural activities. The creativity quadrant doesn’t switch on until afternoon at best. My eyes need these light-filled hours to soak in stimuli before it can process the information and regurgitate something useful. I call this time pre-thought. It’s a passive time of reading, watching, walking and not actively thinking. The morning is the time to do this. The particular quality of a.m. sunlight is vastly different to the afternoon. Time has a different scale. It is neither always quicker nor always slower. It ebbs and flows as it pleases.
Cats have the ideal approach to daylight. They seek out slim patches of sunlight and stretch out, recharging their batteries. Naturally solar-powered they expend this energy overnight as they chase each other around the house. I’m sure the grey one sits on my bed, staring at me in disbelief as to why I would want to waste the darkness sleeping.
On hungover mornings though, the sun has a new vicious character altogether. Day always comes too soon. It harsh, too-bright rays refused to be contained behind the drapes. My eyes pierced by the light as I fall out of bed, trip over the grumpy cat and search for the bathroom which seems to have somehow moved overnight. I don’t want to look in the mirror but I know I must confess my sins. Black rimmed panda eyes, mouth that feels like I’ve been licking a wild dog, hair that I don’t even recognize. I blame the artificial bathroom lights above the mirror. These globes are produced to offend surely. Nobody wants that much detail in a reflection.
As I get older, I’ve learnt how to avoid these type of mornings more. Two nurofen and a large glass of water before bed OR not drinking as much — who knew. The daylight is inevitable so I am the variable in this equation. I’m the one that can change and much to my mother’s surprise I have.
Somewhere along the line I became a morning person. Not my mum’s sort of morning person, radio on singing to oneself as eggs are cooking. I became my sort of morning person. I had moved out and was living by myself for the first time. No partner to consider, I could arrange furniture as I wished. And so I did. I faced the bed towards the window and left the curtains open. In the morning the chilled air stirred me before dawn and that’s when I discovered it — that liminal time between night darkness and day light.