Poet Mary Oliver’s book Why I Wake Early, prompted me to ask myself the same question: “Why do I wake early?”
And the answer I stumbled upon within myself is, I don’t know, and yet I do.
I wake early so I can light a candle and place it in my window. Its light illuminates my darkness and, perhaps, the darkness of the world. The reverent glow flickering from quiet candlelight serves as a beacon for the birds who visit the feeder outside my sill. As they find morning nourishment, they feather simple joy upon my heart.
I wake early because when I do, I recall the miracle of my breath. I feel the beating of my heart. And my dog’s snoring at my feet becomes a choir.
I wake early because the morning quiet teaches me to trust my experience of ordinary sacredness. I name the lenses through which I view myself and others, and find the grace to let false gods go.
I wake early to receive the wisdom that dawn breathes into my heart, and to remember in the midst of my longing who I am and who I am not.
I wake early to remember that we are all created and formed in the image and likeness of Infinite Love, and that suffering is a necessary pathway to compassion.
I wake early because morning teaches me I don’t need to be right. I only need to be loving.
And in these moments of dawn’s unfolding, I experience Divinity touching humanity, and the Creator inviting me to become fully who I Am.
—brian j plachta
When we hold in our hands the black and white of our conflicting emotions, open our hearts to grace, and let God combine the feelings with Wisdom, the color of gray emerges, painting our lives with rich hues of Divine insight and guidance.