It’s dawn. The sun is only cresting the horizon, birds have barely sung the break of morn and I’ve barely sipped my first cup of coffee. I’ve no appointments today. No morning schedule and am not wont to early morning runs. That begs the question, Why am I awake?
My day no longer begins with the harshness of a mechanical alarm. Instead, there is a subtle interruption to my morning sleep. A sense of stealth movement around me. Two small dark figures moving across me in bed and then one silently slipping onto the dresser. Just sitting like a statue and waiting. The other at the foot of the bed. Waiting. For me to get up. Susie’s and Delia’s pre-dawn sojourns around our bedroom.
And invariably, I’m caught. I open an eye. I lift my phone. I roll to one side. Susie approaches to be pet. Delia starts pushing things to the floor. I needn’t wait for my alarm to go off. It already did.
Morning begins on “cat-time” not mine. The hush hours before the rush of day. Before subways fill, before students doze, before commuters brake.
There’s no need to ask that question, Why am I awake?
Susie’s and Delia’s “cat-time” has slowly become our time, at first, begrudgingly and now, nudging me with just enough time to begin the day with coffee, prayer and gratitude.
I wouldn’t sleep through it for the world.
We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion.”
HOS 14: 8-9