*This post may contain some affiliate links, with never any extra cost to you. Simply put, if you buy a book I recommend, a very small percent contributes to the running costs of the blog.
|Why I Wake Early: Mary Oliver’s ode to
dawn and starting the day outside.
When it comes to mornings, we’re all very divided. While some us of leap out of bed without any need for an alarm clock, others aren’t quite so keen.
By looking at the brilliant Brain Pickings infographic of famous writers’ sleep habits, we can see that Haruki Murkami, Twyla Tharp and Vladimir Nabokov were larks (waking up at 4am, 5.30am and 6am respectively).
Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Scott Fitzgerald were probably night owls (waking at 9am, 10am and 11am).
Waking up early may well help you out if you find yourself procrastinating or not achieving what you’d like to. As Mrs. Dean cleverly states in Wuthering Heights,
You shouldn’t lie till ten. There’s the very prime of the morning gone long before that time. A person who has not done one-half his day’s work by ten o’clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.
I know I should pay attention to this advice: I work so well first thing in the morning.
|The Yorkshire moors, home to Wuthering Heights.|
When finding books on waking up early, Mary Oliver’s collection Why I Wake Early can’t help but come to mind. It’s a superb series of poems on the beauty of dawn and greeting the day in nature.
The opening poem, of the same name as the anthology, starts as follows:
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips…
The poem then culminates in this wonderful phrase: “Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”
You can hear Mary Oliver read the full poem here, on YouTube.
Horseradish by Lemony Snicket
Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. For instance, if you wake up to the sound of twittering birds, and find yourself in an enormous canopy bed, with a butler standing next to you holding a breakfast of freshly made muffins and hand-squeezed orange juice on a silver tray, you will know that your day will be a splendid one. If you wake up to the sound of church bells, and find yourself in a fairly big regular bed, with a butler standing next to you holding a breakfast of hot tea and toast on a plate, you will know that your day will be O.K. And if you wake up to the sound of somebody banging two metal pots together, and find yourself in a small bunk bed, with a nasty foreman standing in the doorway holding no breakfast at all, you will know that your day will be horrid.
For more uplifting and cheery quotes, Horseradish really is full of quotable goodies.
Putting it into action
For the lifelong night owls, you’ll feel less ignored after checking out B-Society, a Danish group founded by Camilla Kring which is aiming to make society more flexible when it comes to rising early.
Like more of the same? Subscribe to the Tolstoy Therapy Newsletter and receive a round-up of the week’s articles every Sunday to enjoy with your coffee. Click here to subscribe.