we rise in the dark

its a dark 5.10am and beside me babe is stirring and will not be lulled back to sleep with breast, pat or soft shhhh...

since daylight savings ended a few weeks ago he has been waking at his usual time of somewhere between six and seven-thirty, only now that is five and six-thirty- I could frustrate myself upon waking so early, so darkly - but that child of mine - he smiles at me in the orangey street-light thats streaming in through our bedroom window. he smiles, pulls at my face and begins to chatter happily. he is awake. eventually I get us out of bed and we begin our morning ritual of face washing, nappy changing, putting the kettle on to boil for tea and the oats and water for porridge. the temptation to sleepily check emails and blogs sets in, but I am determined to start the day without laptop glare and buzz. so we read board books, poetry and a psalm. Sometimes we start baking bread, usually I wash up last nights dishes, fold laundry, then as time gets on, we walk outside into the cool air to open the wooden shutters and let the early light in.

today was different though. the sky was blushing at us. babe wriggled in my arms, chattering, as we watched the vast pink and lilac above our heads. it is one of those moments - when fatigue falls away and its just me and my son, while the neighbourhood sleeps, we cling to each other, watching the heavens all silken and billowing.

a gift, I say, for rising so early, and willing.