When my belly got big with my son, I started routinely waking up around 3 a.m. as the pressure on my pea-sized bladder got to be too much. Same thing happened with my daughter – up at 3 a.m. like clockwork.
Then, for several years in a row, I found myself awake at 3 a.m. nourishing hungry, growing babies.
Of course, for any child there are night time fevers, and bad dreams, and then my own grief which prompted quiet 3 a.m. checks to make sure they were still breathing. Sometimes I needed that silent nighttime check to reassure myself that everything was going to be OK. So I could sleep.
And after so many years of that routine, I guess I got used to it.
Today, I find myself awake at 3 a.m. more often than not – an echo of the past lodged deep in my bones. [Plus, there’s still that pea-sized bladder issue.]
And I have come to love 3 a.m.
It’s wonderful. Unless you live in a college town, there’s no one coming home at that time of the morning. There’s no one heading off to work, either. There is nothing in the sky except stars. No cars whooshing by on the streets.
Even the birds are asleep.
It’s so still. So quiet. So calm. Creating an open, inviting space to just… be.
3 a.m. is a drink of cold water to a thirsty woman in the desert of busyness and doing-doing-doing that seems to be the way of our modern world.
At 3 a.m., I find I can breathe. I can lean against the door jamb for a minute and just be in the stillness, full of remembrance. And gratitude for this life, this time.
Aware of the gift of it all.
Which never fails to usher me back into a restful sleep.
The other night at 3 a.m., I heard a fox call in the night. Perhaps – a mom, too – she was up nursing her kits, and was looking for a kindred spirit who loves the morning.
She certainly found me. And me, her.
And, you know, I would never have heard her call in the regular hubbub of the day.
Your time for stillness and gratitude may not be at 3 a.m., but you’ve got a special time. You sure do – we all do – maybe you’re just too busy to recognize it.
But you need it.You need your own still, calm time as the antidote to the stress of your day.
So find it. Ready?
Hear the call in the quiet.
And live happier.