Being awake first in the morning is a wonderful feeling. I don’t mean because of that smug self-satisfaction that other people are missing the “best part of the day” while one is already up and about, but the quiet pleasure in the solitary early morning cup of tea, the knowledge that although the day has begun, there is as yet no obligation to do anything, so it is fine to lounge about, or to read, or indulge in any one of a number of selfish pleasures in the knowledge that, for the time being at least, they will annoy no-one else.
I enjoy watching it get light as the sun rises. In fine weather it is good to do so from a hilltop somewhere, but in this weather I prefer to sit in the quiet of my study with the comforting heartbeat of my old clock for company and a cup of tea, as I listen to the wind howl round the corners of our home. The sounds of the house slowly starting to wake up reach me in my eyrie: the noise of the boiler starting and the gurgling of the hot water in the radiators, the creak of a floorboard as the heating warms it, the protests of bed-springs from the next room as someone turns over in their sleep, disturbed by early morning dreams of who-knows-what, these noises which would normally go unnoticed at any other time of day are amplified in the pre-dawn hush, but are comforting rather than distracting.
I have been having trouble sleeping lately and when I do get to sleep I have tended to sleep late, so this morning’s early start is pleasurable for another reason - it is a small victory over insomnia. I have slept well, without the aid of sleeping tablets, and feel rested and content.
The coming day may hold a hundred small annoyances, or it may be full of happiness and fun, but that doesn’t concern me yet - those things are to come and at the moment I am in that peaceful interval between-times: the day has not properly begun, but the night is definitely over. Thanks to my early start, the day will find me ready to meet it, optimistic and glad, but for now I shall simply revel in the enjoyable solitude of the early-riser.