I woke up at 4:00 this morning. Not that groggy, half-asleep, "why am I awake?" kind of waking up, but a genuine, "my body is done sleeping; let's get up and do stuff" kind of awake. I managed to force myself to lay quietly and read for an hour and a half, but I finally decided to give in, get up, and enjoy the peace and quiet of being the only awake person in the house.
I threw on some clothes, made myself a cup of coffee and a piece of toast, and then...I just sat. I listened to the birds. I smelled the neighborhood skunk and wondered idly where he was wandering. I watched the pink sky fade to blue. I listened to the occasional rumble of a passing car.
I started to think about everything I need to get done today, but then I stopped myself. Two hours from now, I can worry about that. Right now, I'm clearing it all from my mind. I'm not worrying about what I have to get done; I'm not planning out my day. I'm just enjoying the peace and quiet. I'm enjoying putting my thoughts down on paper (figuratively) without having the train of those thoughts being derailed by a small person asking for breakfast or a drink or a kiss, or a slightly larger one asking where his keys are or reminding me of his schedule or also asking for a kiss. Not that any of those interruptions are unpleasant or unwelcome. But they do break my concentration and focus. So it's a wonderful little gift, a mental oasis, if you will, to have an hour or two without another soul intruding into my consciousness.
Any moment now, I expect to hear the patter of little feet and the chatter of little voices breaking into my peaceful meditations. But by then, I'll be ready for them: relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated. At peace.