There’s a song from the musical Guys and Dolls titled “My Time,” where the gambler Sky Masterson sings about the morning hours:
My time of day is the dark time
A couple of deals before dawn
When the street belongs to the cop
And the janitor with the mop
And the grocery clerks are all gone.
I think of that song sometimes in the morning when I get up. For reasons that horrify people who don’t know me well, I get up at about 5 a.m. pretty much every day.
This is something that I’ve been doing for years, so long that the original reasons for it no longer hold true. When I first started teaching, I had about an hour drive to work, and I found that I wanted to ensure that I was awake when I got behind the wheel of the car. I thought the other drivers would appreciate it as well. So I started intentionally waking up, having breakfast, and getting on the road at 6 a.m.
And you know what? I came to like this time of day.
There’s a quiet to this time of the day, broken only by the sound of my fingers hitting the keyboard. Diana Senechal has written extensively about how there’s such limited opportunity for solitude today, so little chance for us to think, to consider our own ideas.
I think that I’m at my best when I reflect. And that’s something that I do a lot more of in the early morning hours, when I write.