Sunrise 30: Lessons from a Month of Early Rising

Dawn in DC

I didn’t deliberately choose a thirty-day month, I swear. Nor had I realized that the end of Daylight Savings Time would actually mean an extra hour in bed or that as winter approached the time of sunrise would actually get later each morning. I know these things now, as I have experienced them directly—at a time of day calculated to get my attention.

I have decided that, at least in the city, sunrise is in fact more beautiful than sunset. The transition from dark to light, the quiet, the regular gratification of expectation (the sun DOES rise), these things are tremendously calming and reassuring, and a good way to start the day.

I would say that I am just now beginning to adjust to an early morning routine. But the adjustment is not complete; there have still been nights when I went to bed after midnight. I imagine that it would take several more months of rigorous dawn risings to make a true habit of it. Say, a hundred days.

I am not prepared to make that commitment.

Tomorrow, I will not set the alarm clock. That means I’ll probably wake to the sound of the dumpsters. I’ll likely not see first light. I’m curious to find out what that feels like, and to note what time I actually do get up.

I am, however, fully persuaded that time out of doors during daylight is an unmitigated good for me. So, for December, I am committing to an hour of outdoor daylight every day—days of precipitation excepted. I don’t think it much matters whether I’m sitting at a sidewalk cafe facing the sun or walking around or practicing Tai Chi, but a minimum cumulative hour of plein air is what is required.

This should be made somewhat easier by a mid-December journey to New Mexico. I want to see my sister and brother-in-law, and Bob is going to join me as well.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.