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)
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)
Leaving soon to rendezvous with Melissa for the 8-hr road trip: