The morning was like any other. And then, it wasn't.
Her legs moved slowly under the covers; toes, feet, ankles, calves, until at last she could sit up on the edge of the bed and take a deep breath.
She felt rather than saw the humid air as it settled on her hair.
She talked to herself, but not out loud.
"You don't have to get up yet. It's so early! Look, the streetlights are still on. The moon is still glowing in the sky. It isn't even dawn yet!"
The floor was cold under her feet. A welcoming cold - a sting that hit her entire body with a shock. She pushed her feet into slippers, one slow foot at a time, allowing the shock to settle.
It's not that I don't want to get up, she thought, standing now. It's not that I want to stay in bed.
She walked to the door, quietly opened it, and stepped into the hall. The morning, which was like any other, and then it wasn't, greeted her with shadows, so full of anticipation she could feel the whispering surround her like static. It followed her into the kitchen. The moment she touched the button on the coffee pot, the day began properly, and all sense of hesitation disappeared into tomorrow.
What hesitation is there in early morning risings? Is the hesitation a function of our sleep requirements?
Is the hesitation a reluctance to face the cold, as we slip out from under the warmth of covers and husband (or wife)?
Is the hesitation a desire to embrace sleep just a little longer, as we think it is? Why? Clearly, when you 'awake' you are ready to rise.
I wonder about this a good bit. I dislike my morning hesitation, with a vengeance! It inhibits my ability to start my day!
And then it doesn't. It's not a physical thing - it's so invisible, I often ignore it and realize later, the missing part of my day, the one little thing that is nagging me with sharp teeth, is that - the moment of hesitation I ignored, so early in the day.
Perhaps there is a message in the hesitation. Perhaps we are meant to listen more carefully, to what the day, the morning, is trying to tell us.
At my house, there is little hesitation in rising, each morning. I have a dog. <cue smiley face> She rises each day full of energy and enthusiasm, and showers us with her wet kisses, as she nudges us for a butt-rub. The very silliness of it all brings laughter from a warm place in our throat. The morning becomes a treasured moment, with Emily.
But, I have mornings of small hesitation, when Tom has risen to care for Emily, and I sleep in. I feel my eyes open before I am ready to open them. I feel my body telling me to get up. Even my brain says it's time, though, somewhere, in another corner of my brain, someone (me?) is whining, No!
As I rise, I push the dark away. I take a deep breath. I stretch and begin to think about my day. And so it begins. I have won the hesitation battle.
And yet, there, in those spaces in-between, I feel as if I have missed something. A message. A story. A proclamation.
It's just a sense. Like sensing a good friend's joy, just by looking at them. Like sensing your mother is going to call, and she does. Like sensing the day will be fraught with unfinished business, and it is.
It's not news that we humans feel that immediate need for gratification, the one that propels us out of bed in the morning as soon as our eyes open, to face our day with shield and sword, forgetting that in the shadows of the start of day, there are a few moments of silence in which we might learn about us, about the day, about our place in the universe.
Morning hesitation has its purpose.
Listen to it.