In the Wee Small Hours

Things I love cont’d…

Here I am again, the sun just a velvet greying in the sky, and I’m up. Coffee’s made, dogs are fed, and I’m settled in for some peaceful time without the hurly burly of the world and its demands.

No one will call me, there will be no texts; the only sounds are those of the birds waking up, the distant rumble of cars, and the quiet ticking of my clock.


This is the time when I simply live in myself. Sometimes I scroll facebook, sometimes I do some writing (like right now!), sometimes I simply sip coffee and let my thoughts ramble over the day to come. I’m tucked up in a fleecy blanket, enjoying that rare sense of undistracted well-being.

When my girls were small, no matter what time our day was scheduled to begin, my husband got up at least an hour earlier. He would make coffee, read the paper, take a leisurely shower. I stayed in bed, hiding from the demands of the day – or sleeping. He would wake me with a peck on the forehead (if visible), a cup of coffee and the ritual words, “Susan, time to get up.” It was a perfect way to welcome the morning.

And then each day, for good or not, began again.

But as Ralph Fletcher wrote in his lovely picture book, Twilight Comes Twice, the wee small hours steal in at the end of the day too. I’m a morning person mostly, but sometimes when sleep is elsewhere, I wander my house in the deep dark of late night. I try to leave the lights mostly switched off, enjoying instead the soft night.

No one calls, no one texts. My family is asleep. The dogs whuffle and sigh as they reluctantly move to be near me, then they collapse down to snooze. I stare out the window at the streetlights creating golden cones of half-light. The familiar road is etched in shadows and silence, not quite a fairyland, but definitely fey.

I know the neighbors who are going through the same, I should be sleeping rituals. A light will flick on in a kitchen window. The blue glow of a TV seeps from another house. A late night car swooshes past. The clock ticks softly.

My thoughts scatter over the day before, fuss over the day to come. There is less peace in my mind, more rabbity darts of ideas, fragments and emotions until exhaustion wins and I’m ready to curl up in my blankets.

I once woke from a dream so deep that as I roused, for a split second I had no memory of my life, not even my name. But despite that, I had a profound sense of existence, not as a being in the interconnected web of my daily life, but simply as myself.

In the twilights of each day, I feel that again. Just myself – no appointments, obligations or interactions. The simple presence of life. I love those islands of peace in the wee small hours.