5am, 2021

I like 5am. It’s uncomplicated; it’s enough of the morning to make you feel like you’re not awake in the middle of the night, but it’s before all the other souls around you have woken from their slumber. It’s peaceful. There’s so much possibility within that first hour or two between five and seven; the many hours of the day you can fill with something, the amount of things you can get done. I don’t like being up at 5am on purpose, though.

It’s the mornings you accidentally wake, where you have had enough rest that you can slowly roll yourself out of bed. The coffee smells extra delicious at that time. The birds louder as they’re just waking up without the sounds of anything else interrupting their existence. The air colder, fresher, kinder against your skin. Unadulterated humanness within the waking hours. Not quite like the rest of the day, where humanity becomes a lot more apparent.

In a way, 5am in a new day feels like the first few days of January in the new year. Endless prospect, an abundance of hope floating through the air. The idea of what you could make of the year, what you could fill in to the next three hundred and sixty five days, how you will come to remember how you spent your days when you look back on your life.

Alas, this morning I woke at 5am, drank coffee, watched an episode of Friends, and thought about all the possibilities, all the things I could get done through the day. I fell asleep at 8am, slept until 11am, and woke up a little sad. New year, same old me.

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