Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Up with the Sun but Few Others

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Up with the Sun but Few Others

Article excerpt

I am by nature an early riser, a morning person, so I took to dairy farming like a cat to a bowl of fresh milk. My impulse to get on with the day as the sun also rises serves me well; but as an aficionado of the dawn, I occupy the lower slopes of the bell curve.

I first realized that my habits were not the norm at one of my early childhood sleepovers. My friend Celia and I stayed up late that night playing board games on her living-room floor, drinking iced sodas and eating the popcorn her mom made. We retired well past my usual bedtime, for me a rare and wondrous treat.

But the next morning I still sprang from bed at first light - to a disturbingly quiet home. No reassuring sounds from the kitchen, no adult voices whatsoever. Celia, breathing deeply, would not be roused. I got dressed and sat on my friend's living-room sofa for a good while, staring at the walls and waiting for action that never came. Even the big black dog languished on his pad. So, I hopped on my bike and pedaled home, where things had been in full swing for a couple of hours. Born to a household of morning people, I grew up relishing the hum of daybreak. Not just birdsong and my parents' voices, but harsher sounds as well. The metallic grindings and rough male shouts from the neighborhood garbage truck seemed to announce as clearly as anything that all was well - that we were all off again to a fresh, clean start. The whistles of trains in the gloaming, the purr of the earliest traffic below my window, the click of the front door as the morning paper was retrieved, all these came to my already restfully awake ears. I tried, but I rarely beat my parents out of bed. The kitchen was always lit and occupied; on weekends a hammering in the basement or a mower motor from the yard announced my father's head start as well. Admittedly, there were wintry Rochester, N. …

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