I never used to be a morning person. Granted, I was not a person who slept late until noon or after, but 9:30-10:00 a.m. on a weekend or a day off was not that unusual.
But 12 years ago yesterday, I had the first major surgery of my life. And the next morning, at 5:00 a.m., there were suddenly about 8 people around my bed, and a HUGE BRIGHT light above me was turned on - time for rounds, which is what happens when you are at a teaching hospital.
That continued for the 5 days I remained in the hospital, and I got used to it pretty quickly. But it never occurred to me that it would change my mornings so drastically. Ever since then, I have become someone who loves/craves morning time to myself. Now on a weekend, if I sleep past 6:30 a.m., I feel like I've missed out on a good part of the day. (I know.)
During the work week, I get up at 4:45 a.m. (which even I think is early). I feed the cats first thing because, you know it's been HOURS since they last ate and they are of course so near to death from starvation. I used to do my exercises next, but then Dug joined the family. So now I put on my dog-walking clothes, and Dug and I head outside for our morning walk.
And you know what? It's the best. Most of the year, it's still dark. Granted, sometimes it's raining or snowing, and both of us would rather be inside, but otherwise, it's a whole different universe out there that early. It's quiet. You can hear the trains coming and going across the river, taking people to and from exotic or ordinary places. Buses pass by, with sleepy-looking passengers who are either starting their day, or ending their night shifts. There are always at least a couple of birds already up and singing. We often run into the neighborhood opossum, who needless to say, is not interested in hanging with us (though Dug really wants to be his friend!).
We pass people delivering things to the market around the corner. They always say hello, and give Dug a pat on the head. We exchange good morning wishes with the lady who delivers the newspaper to houses in the neighborhood.
But we mostly just walk, and Dug has a good sniff at everything ("checking his pee mail," as a neighbor says), while I look at any stars or the moon, occasionally see planes flying overhead, and sing to myself. Occasionally, we will have a brief "conversation" (which consists of me saying something, and Dug looking at me because he loves it when people talk). We're usually only out for 20 minutes or so, but it's so lovely, and so quiet, and it feels like you own it.
Weekends are different, in that we go walking later, it's almost always light out, and more is going on in general. It's nice for different reasons.
But the early morning quiet of the weekday gives you a whole other way of being in the world. And now I'm glad that I have become a morning person, because it makes me feel like the day is all mine.