Day’s sweetest moments are at dawn;
Refreshed by his long sleep, the Light
Kisses the languid lips of Night,
Ere she can rise and hasten on.
All glowing from his dreamless rest
He holds her closely to his breast,
Warm lip to lip and limb to limb,
Until she dies for love of him.
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Dawn
Sleeping in is relative to when you normally wake up. For me, 7 AM qualifies. I long ago stopped setting alarm clocks (except for those first flights of the day moments you can’t miss), mostly because I long ago stopped trying to burn the candle at both ends. When you go to bed at a decent hour, you wake up for the magic hours.
This idea of sleeping in is seductive, but I know when I do it I’ll feel like I’ve missed out on something special—that lingering bliss of the world waking up around you, while you take stock of all that you’ve done with the day already. Call it satisfaction, maybe, or perhaps merely the confidence that comes with being ahead of the game.
Then again, maybe you can call it overconfidence. Are we ever really ahead of the game? No, we do what we can to stay in the game in the best position possible. I used to wake up and check work email first thing in the morning, to be perceived as hustling because I was answering an email before 6 AM. That’s a game I don’t play now, a fool’s game of posturing and positioning. When you wake up to the world you see that we have no time for games, only living. Remember night gets her revenge on day all too soon.
There was a time when I wouldn’t linger with a poem like Dawn. Feeling it frivolous and romantic, almost soft porn in its wordplay. Have I become frivolous and romantic? It’s not like I’m watching Hallmark movies here, just lingering in early light. The dawn brightens, and the world becomes more clear. Or maybe I just stopped looking inward enough to notice.