Oddments

In search of story


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In praise of the antemeridian

Yes, I’m a morning person. I’m usually eating breakfast around 4:00. Do you gasp in alarm? Get in line. Whenever I’ve revealed my preference for dawn, others seem unsure of my stability. Their response has been consistent: you need help. With touching concern, they offer suggestions on how I can change.

Why is that? I have never felt compelled to change a night person into a morning person. I don’t care that they aren’t up early so why do they care that I am?

The seeds of morningphilia were sown long ago in my Irish Catholic Republican family where Work Ethic meant carpe diem and the earlier the better. Saturday mornings were piano lessons. Sundays (and holydays) the only Masses that counted were the early ones. Thou shalt not sleep in.

But, work ethic aside, I love morning for itself. I hear the first bird stretch and chirp, and chirp turn to chorus. I see my neighborhood emerge from monochromatic blur into silhouettes sharp against the budding day. Sometimes I see one low star in benediction over the dawn. In winter I see snowlight. If it rains, I hear the earliest tires splash through the street and watch first light rainbowed in drops on the window.

When I was young and working, I wrote early-morning letters. Yellow legal pads were my breakfast staple. Now I’m old and not working and I have email. The yellow coffee-splotched letters had more personality, but email has wings.

I do not have wings. I have lead feet, molasses in my veins. I’m a plodder, slow, deliberate, uncertain. Early mornings give me the long on-ramp I need to merge into the day’s traffic.

I love mornings; therefore, I A.M.