I came across this poem by Canadian poet, Edna Jaques today. It stirred some happy memories of my dad (1912-2005) who was always an early riser.
Growing up, his cheerful voice was always the first thing that I'd hear hear every morning. Often, he would sing a little ditty about the greatness of getting up in the morning, and how good it is to stay in bed. By the time I'd drag my sleepy self to the kitchen, he would have his cup of tea (always in a china cup, because he insisted that there was no other way to have a good cup of tea), and breakfast would be ready on the table.
He rises in the still and quiet dawn
Before the trucks and buses start to run,
Sweeps off the sidewalk ... sprays a little bush,
Turns his old face and watches for the sun.
He sees it rise beyond a clump of trees
And something in his heart is strangely stirred,
As rosy tinted clouds bedeck the sky,
And morning news is passed from bird to bird.
He starts the fire and puts the kettle on,
Putters around the kitchen, dries a cup,
Brings in the paper ... listens to the news,
Calls up the stairs for others to get up.
The peace of night is still upon his heart,
The fragrance of a dream is with him still,
The mystery of half remembered sleep,
Like purple shadows on a distant hill.
All these are his ere other folk arise
A fortress in his heart, serene and strong,
A spring of water softly welling up,
That feeds his thirsty soul the whole day long.
Love you Dad.