My dad grew up on a farm. Apparently farm kids wake up at obscene hours to do farm things. By the time I came along, my dad had moved well beyond farming, but still kept what I thought to be very weird hours. As a tween/teenager, nothing extinguished the candy-colored joy of summer vacation more than having to get up at 6:00 a.m. to pick vegetables in the garden. Rising before noon was the ultimate injustice to 14-year-old me.
Somewhere between there and here I started waking up early and enjoying it. I think it started when I picked up running in college. There is peace to be found at 5:30 in the morning when very few people are awake and the sun is just beginning to rise.
When it’s cool enough outside to sleep with the windows open, my alarm usually isn’t the first thing I hear in the morning. It all starts with the birds. The damn birds. Then the city bus that passes by the house around 5:15 a.m.
This is the crap I wake up to most mornings: