Before They Stir

They sleep, silent, sweet and I have come to think that my propensity for waking at four in the morning, an hour and a half before anyone else is up has come to be because it is the only time the house is quiet around me. I don't wish to be up, don't need to be up, but sleep is abruptly done, whether I wish it or not, and my mind is a busy hotbed of plans for the day ahead while my body aches from the night and too-long stretches of immobility.

I get this quiet time, not even the cats disturbing me, except Frank who needs a cuddle first, and I start the coffee so that when it's ready, the smell of it will waft towards my bedroom and my husband, so that he can pour me a big cup while I continue my computer tasks. I sit in this quiet house, this QUIET house, and I suppose it's my meditation, my chance to appreciate the detritus of the day before, the literal detritus, as I'm too weary the night before to stop and pick up the mess we've made.

School papers litter the table and ottoman tops, perch on couch arms, clutter near my chair, my children's work intermingling with my students' work. One of the rooster figures leans drunkenly against the ottoman while the other has lost its battle to balance and lies on its side, game controllers and their cords a tangle around them. Even the Buddha statue has fallen over, girls' toys around him like an offering, Lily's damned TAKS folder beneath the Buddha, as if she's recognized the fundamental truth that all life is suffering and it begins with standardized testing.

Blankets, pillows, toys and books, finger nail polish and cotton balls, games, crayons, brushes, skeleton, skull, Madonna, tribbles, and more clutter the room where we live, where we gather for most of our waking hours when we are home, and it shows: this place is lived in by gods! And played in, too.

I have no doubt  that the first step into this house and this room and much is revealed about the inhabitants and our obsessions. It's cozy, though, if you like always having something to look at, everything at your disposal. It would be hell to be someone in need of lots of blank spaces, lots of emptiness.

My living room is a good representation of the business of my mind, and maybe that's why for all  that I could undoubtedly use the sleep, sitting here amidst the busy, happy, messy clutter, I start my day a meditation, not of making the mind empty (fat chance), but a meditation of all the wonder and all the knowledge waiting for me to grab hold of and all the chances I'll have to play.


kathleen said...

"All life is suffering and it begins with standardized testing" HAHA! Love that. ;0

Yes-I too get up way before I need to-although my coffee is on a timer and ready the minute I step foot in the kitchen. How alike and different we are..yes, we have papers everywhere as well..but also lots of blank spaces..and empty spots. We all need the peace of that here..:)
Lovely post.

melbo said...

Oh someone else who gets up before dawn just for the sake of some p and q. It took me a while to work out why I had this early morning insomnia but it eventually dawned on me (heh) that it was really the only time I could get anything done.


farmwifetwo said...

I don't get up until I have to and as long as they don't fight too much.... only have to get up once or twice btwn 5 to 7am... depending on when they get up and today was WAY too early.

Our house is rather tidy compared to most. I grew up where there was a place for everything and everything in it's place. At times it gets messy but in the end it gets tidied up ready to be strewn around again the next day.

Dh is up... coffee I made is ready, lunches are made, children are dressed, fed and ready for school although they don't leave for another hour... off to find a cup.

Jacalyn @ rmebathproducts.com said...

When my children were little I always used to get up before them to enjoy some peace and quiet! While I loved the hustle and bustle of small children (mostly, ha!) I sure did enjoy my morning quiet!


Life in the House That Asperger Built said...

I can't get up early for two reasons.

1) My body pretty much won't allow it.

2) My girl has some sort of laser beam sensor to when I'm up, and is up shortly thereafter. I'm screwed.

So, no peace and quiet for me unless the fam is gone. :-) And, like Kathleen, my coffee is on a timer, so there's no waiting.

As for clutter, it's something of a cycle in my house. My mom's house has always been spotless, and I admit I do MUCH better when there's no clutter, but I find it next to impossible to keep on top of. So it accumulates, and then we do a giant sweep, and things are clean for about a week, then it starts all over again. :-)

Great post.

KWombles said...

:-) There are distinct advantages to beating the kids up. I used to love to sleep in, but those days seem to have disappeared, and my girls rarely sleep past six. I have to tell you, though, that when you get up at 4, the day can seem awfully long by 9 in the morning!

Anonymous said...

I so love that quiet time, but I have gotten into the habit of taking it late at night. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep has been catching up with me and I can't do it anymore.

I wonder how long it would take me to shift over to having that time in the morning? I think it would be better for everyone involved if I could make that work.