I come from a long line of early risers. One of my first memories is of my grandma, slowly gliding into her kitchen in the wee hours of the morning, making herself a cup of tea and sitting and reading. I remember the glow of the kitchen light, the soft scrape of the chair as she pulled it out to sit, and the rustle of the newspaper. A simple, warm and happy moment in time.
My parents were early risers too. NPR was turned up by 5am and the smell of earl grey and fresh bread filled the kitchen. The mornings would begin quietly and softly, slowly enveloping into a day.
Now, as an adult, I’ve kept with an early morning routine. My lab Byron gently brushes my hand with his nose 10 minutes before my alarm is set to go off at 5am. I slowly drift into consciousness. This is my time.
Byron and I hit the streets for our daily 4-5 miles. The moon and street lamps cast long, yellow shadows that slowly melt away as the sun peeks over the horizon. Sometimes the velvety blue of the night sky has disappeared already and has been replaced by a firey orange or sherbety pink.
When we return from the run and the sky is barely lit, there is a soft yellow glow in my house, similar to the kind that was in my grandmother’s kitchen when she read the newspaper and had her tea.
Those few hours when I’m alone with the early morning sky and the sun is not yet up are some of the happiest of my life. This is also my favorite time to capture images. So many soft, crystal white early morning moments to document and savor. And they are mine. All mine.