Because we have recently adjusted to “summer time” here in Albuquerque, NM, I have been more aware of my circadian rhythm being in synch with nature’s rhythm. “Summer time” is when the days get longer in the warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. I am watering my urban garden at sundown, adjusting my sleep pattern with the sunset times, and sitting on the porch before I go to bed.
But I’ve also been thinking of sunrises, dawns, and early morning rising because the birds are back on the electrical wires outside of my apartment. They wake me gently up with their chirping. Dr. Linnea frequently recommends getting enough sunlight in the early morning to improve our sleep. She writes in her blog on ways to heal a dysregulated nervous system that: “We can improve our sleep by exposing our eyes to the sun in the morning. . . .” (“47 Practices to Heal a Dysregulated Nervous System”). She also notes the power of journaling and books to help heal us.
I have found that reading poetry has been one of the most healing modalities of my journey thus far. This is because I will memorize poems that I want to comfort me in distressing times or reach out to poets that I know have a similar experiences as me. This makes me feel less alone.
I’d like to share one of my favorite poems, “Dawn Revisited” by Rita Dove, with you. The speaker wants us to think about those early mornings:
Imagine you wake upwith a second chance: The blue jayhawks his pretty waresand the oak still stands, spreadingglorious shade. If you don’t look back,the future never happens.How good to rise in sunlight,in the prodigal smell of biscuits –eggs and sausage on the grill.The whole sky is yoursto write on, blown opento a blank page. Come on,shake a leg! You’ll never knowwho’s down there, frying those eggs,if you don’t get up and see.
I love how the poem points to the interconnected relationship many of us have with our past lives, our present struggles and glimmers of green, and our hope to one day live into a future that is, to use Dr. Linnea’s terms— restored, connected, and expanded. “The whole sky is . . . blown open.” And how hopeful the speaker sounds when she tells us to wake up, be disciplined, be curious—“You’ll never know / who’s down there, frying those eggs, / if you don’t get up and see”!
What do mornings mean to you on your healing journey?
How does “summer time” connect you to something?