This morning, I woke up just past 5 AM, but was feeling too alert to fall back asleep. I’m a very light sleeper, so I’m used to being woken in the middle of the night or being stirred awake by even the softest noise. As annoying as it is to be up hours before everyone else, insomnia does have its benefits. Before dawn, the mind is in a place somewhere between dreams and complete awakening. The darkness seems to foster a level of thinking that comes from a different plane of consciousness. Depending on the person you are, that can be an entirely unsettling thing, or it can serve to inspire thoughts that you normally don’t have in the middle of the day.
When I woke up, I went downstairs to the kitchen, poured myself a glass of water, and stepped out into the yard behind the house. Our house overlooks a highway and a ravine on the other side, about a quarter-mile away. On a Saturday morning, the highway is almost empty, and the steady glow of Downtown San Diego over the next hill is a sunrise in itself, faintly lighting up the dark violet sky overhead. Amid the rushing noise of the occasional car passing by below, I turn my thoughts to the dinner I cooked last night for my family and some close friends, the epic day at the beach that beckons excitingly, the concert I am going to this evening, and the fact that I am passing through my home for such a brief period of time before embarking on a long journey yet again. Thoughts, like the days themselves, are temporal and fleeting, and for a while I do nothing more than stare off at the hill beyond and wait for the dawn to come.
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