A couple of days a week, I rise at 4:35 a.m.; that blurry, fuzzy time that feels like neither night nor morning.
I often have difficulty sleeping soundly on those nights I know I need to get up that early, as I abhor the sound of an alarm clock buzzing away in its terrible nasal-y tone, waking me up and rattling my nerves first thing.
So I anticipate the inevitable most of the night, tossing and turning, and glancing at the time periodically in order to beat the alarm, and to check how much longer I have the comfort of my warm bed.
For the past few years now I've been rising that early in order to give myself the gift of gently rousing myself and preparing for my day ahead at my client's home, which entails a long morning drive and a stop at the market before arriving for a few hours of cooking.
It's a time for contemplation, and for silent conversation with my Creator, and it's when I remind myself that all is possible if I choose to stay open and grab a hold of, with both hands, each moment...
And even though I would much rather be in my cozy and comfortable bed, sleeping for an extra couple of hours, there is something soothing about that early morning time when Los Angeles still slumbers and is at rare peace, with only the chirps of a few birds and the gentle slap of the neighbor's morning newspaper delivery being tossed onto their driveway, breaking the silence.
It's that quiet time before the dawn breaks, that darkness before the light.
It's that time of bleariness and in-between-ness, of extreme vulnerability and fragility.
It's during that stillness that I feel the flutter of the wings of those butterflies that permanently reside in my belly, which represent my hopes, desires, and those things I care about and that matter most to me, or make me slightly nervous.
The quiet darkness before the dawn has become a sort of sacred time for me, one in which I take pleasure in the little things, like a strong hot cup of French press coffee that slowly brings me to life, and watching my little dog Lola as she slips into deep slumber next to me on her soft blanket (oh how I envy her at times).
It's a time for contemplation, and for silent conversation with my Creator, and it's when I remind myself that all is possible if I choose to stay open and grab a hold of, with both hands, each moment in my upcoming day and release any fears or doubts that bubble up.
I am so grateful for the quiet darkness just before the dawn, even if I am experiencing it through a still-sleepy, half open lens.
I am grateful for its welcoming arms, for its encouragement, for its kindness, and its gentleness.
I am thankful for the peaceful beginning to my day that it offers me, and for that sacred space found in those few moments as I sip that delicious coffee, gathering myself a little before the world around me awakens, gaining a merciful head start.
I need the softness of the early morning, before being thrust into a jarring world.
At 4:35 am, light begins to be ushered in...
Taste what's good and pass it on.