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Why I Wake Early

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety --

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light --
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(Why I Wake Early, 2004)

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The first chirps of the waking birds mark the "point vierge"
of the dawn.
Under a sky as yet without real light,
a moment of awe and inexpressible innocence,
when the Father in perfect silence opens their eyes.
They speak to Him, not with fluent song,
but with an awakening question
that is their dawn state,
their state at the point vierge.

Their condition asks if it is time for them to "be"?
He answers "Yes."

Then they one by one wake up, and become birds.
They manifest themselves as birds, beginning to sing.
Presently they will be fully themselves, and will even fly.

Meanwhile, the most wonderful moment of the day is that
when creation in its innocence asks permission
to "be" once again,
as it did on the first morning that ever was.

All wisdom seeks to collect and manifest itself
at that blind sweet point.
Man's wisdom does not succeed,
for we have fallen into self mastery and cannot ask
permission of anyone.
We face our mornings as men of undaunted purpose.
We know the time and we dictate the terms.
We know what time it is.

For the birds there is not a time that they tell,
but the virgin point between darkness and light,
Between nonbeing and being.

Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us
and we do not understand.
It is wide open. The sword is taken away,
but we do not know it:
we are off "one to his farm and another
to his merchandise."
Lights on. Clocks ticking. Thermostats working. Stoves
cooking. Electric shavers filling radios with static.

"Wisdom," cries the dawn deacon, but we do not attend.

~ Thomas Merton ~
(Confessions of a Guilty Bystander)
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Leaving soon to rendezvous with Melissa for the 8-hr road trip:

Member Comments About This Blog Post:


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RIDMYCOCOON 8/27/2012 2:47PM

    Aaah the greatness! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/20/2012 9:21AM

    Wonderful emoticon I couldn't agree more - the NE sunrise was fabulous this morning...

Enjoy your trip - I will be there in spirit!

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DOR2BFIT 8/19/2012 9:16PM

    Sounds wonderful! Hope you enjoyed your adventure. emoticon

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BILLB000 8/19/2012 7:22PM

    I love the Mary Oliver poem I just ordered the book by the same title.

Thank you so much for letting me know about the daily poetry feed from Panhala. It has been wonderful.

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CARRAND 8/19/2012 7:20PM


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CRYSTALJEM 8/18/2012 10:21AM

    Lovely! "Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness. " How beautiful.

Thought you might like the quote by T. Merton that I read in an article yesterday.

“By the reading of the scripture I am so renewed that all of nature is renewed around me. The sky seems to be a deeper blue, and the trees a deeper green; the whole world is suddenly charged with the glory of God.”

(Though I must admit I tweak the interpretation for myself a little bit)

Comment edited on: 8/18/2012 10:22:16 AM

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GOANNA2 8/18/2012 8:39AM

    emoticon For brightening my day once again.
Good luck on your trip. emoticon

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JUST_BREATHE08 8/17/2012 10:49PM

    Enjoy your rendezvous with Melissa...Hope you all have a wonderful time. Be safe and take care!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/17/2012 2:09PM

    Glorious! My morning bike rides are dedicated to Maha!

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SLASALLE 8/17/2012 1:52PM

    Prepping yourself for your weekend ... thanks for sharing some of the beauty!! Have a GREAT trip.

With love,

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SUNNY332 8/17/2012 1:07PM

    Do have a lovely time and thanks for bring Mary and Thomas to us this morning.

Lovely words.

Hugs, Sunny

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FIERCEONE4PEACE 8/17/2012 12:28PM


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PANDADOT 8/17/2012 12:19PM

    I am trying to become a morning person - I always enjoy the silence and peace of an early morning, when I see one - and this helps me remember why! Thank you!

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KGWINDER 8/17/2012 10:41AM

    Your blog was a happy way to start the day!

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LADY_MARIANA 8/17/2012 10:20AM

    Thank you so much! I love your thoughtful and inspirational musings and I love how appreciative you are of beauty in its many manifestations.

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BILLB000 8/17/2012 9:51AM

    Thank you for your blog and sharing the Mary Oliver poem. I have always loved that poem. You brightened my perspective today.

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DAISY443 8/17/2012 9:09AM

    Now I know why I rise early (other than the cat wanting her breakfast!) Enjoy your trip!

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JESPAH 8/17/2012 9:08AM

    Oh gentle day! Rapturous sunrise! Ignore the jackhammering idiot! :)

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BEARGODDESS 8/17/2012 8:57AM

    I'm reading these as the sun rises. Thank you Maha! Have a wonderful retreat. Whoever went with you is very lucky!

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AZIMAT 8/17/2012 8:26AM

    I woke early because the rascal husky was breathing in my face. Ha ha. Praying for a smooth trip for you.

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BD3269PM 8/17/2012 8:26AM


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DDOORN 8/17/2012 8:21AM

    Great celebrations of morning-personhood!

I find it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to sleep in once the sun is up! :-)


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GREENGENES 8/17/2012 8:11AM

    I'm trying to figure out when I became a morning person. Now, seeing the sun rise and hearing all the activity of the critters around me is certainly a great way to start the day. Every morning is just a little different and helps to realize it IS a new day and anything is possible.

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WATERMELLEN 8/17/2012 7:57AM

    Thank you! I'd wake up early any day for these poems!

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PUDLECRAZY 8/17/2012 7:13AM

    Thank you for these!

Early morning and dusk are my two favorite times of day. I have always been an early riser because I love the 'quiet' of morning. It is not officially quiet in the sound sense. Before the sunrise there is a chirping of insects, the conversations of screech owls, and often the raucous cries of coyotes as they pass by. But is is physically quiet, a time of peace for me. I enjoy drinking my coffee, watching the pink of the sunrise, and listening to the birds wake up and sing to each other.

I love the golden glow of the early evening, just before the skies turn pink with the sunset. That is my favorite time to take a walk before settling in for the night.

Isn't it wonderful to be graced with dawns and dusks?

Are you currently at your retreat?

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