Dawn in the Harrison household. The first glow of orange tints the horizon. All is still.
Suddenly, a cacophony of alarms begin to sound. Electric beeping in six discordant tones, crackly self recorded music from mobile phone alarms, ringing sounds – coming from five different parts of the house. They ring for a few minutes, then gradually, abruptly stop. Exactly five minutes later, it all begins again. Someone stirs. Someone calls out for someone else to come and spray water on their face. The minutes pass. The third round of alarms begin.
We are a family with good intentions. We all value getting up early, and we all try, but we don’t always find it easy. Still, it’s much easier now that the seasons are changing. Winter in England is a terrible time to get up, whatever the hour. But now it’s almost May, and the mornings have been fresh, warm, and full of promise. Before the school children and people going to work stir the air, it’s heavy with the scent of spring blossoms, and the fields of yellow rapeseed nearby.
It’s not hard to feel inspired on mornings like this. In fact, I’m grateful for them, as they strengthen my resolve to be up early, no matter the season. In Vedic terms, this early time is called the brahma muhurta, and is considered extremely conducive to learning and elevating thought. I know I can feel it, very tangibly.
Today I came upon a quote I really like about getting up early, from Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Walden’. He said ‘All memorable events … transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say ‘All intelligences awake in the morning.’ Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour.’
I’ve been finishing of the bibliography for one of my university projects today, and I also found this piece of music, commonly sung every morning in the 1800s in Californian Mission churches – El Cantico del Alba. It praises the Virgin Mary, and I think it’s very uplifting and beautiful melody. I could write more about morning music, but perhaps I’ll save that for another blog.
Our cherry tree looks good in the morning too…