Pipi’s Pasture: Just Before Sunrise
This morning, as is my habit, I was outside on the patio putting food out for the cats, and it wasn’t really light yet. In fact, it was dark enough that I had to be careful not to run into a skunk. I could see the dark shapes of cows and calves out in Pipi’s Pasture.
While I was outside I got to thinking about my habit of getting up before sunrise. Maybe it got started when I was a young girl living on the ranch, because we fed our 4-H steers promptly at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Or maybe, it’s because I got in the habit of getting up early to feed our boys when they were babies. Or maybe, it’s just because I’m a morning person.
Research by behavioral scientists suggests there are, indeed, morning people and night people. The names come from the time of day people function best. Some writers, for example, are more productive in early morning; others, late at night. The same is true of other professions and for students, as well.
Anyway, I’m a morning person, for sure. I have the most energy and clarity in the early morning hours. I’m up before sunrise, make the coffee and putter around the house (quietly, because my husband, Lyle, is a night person who likes to sleep in the morning). Most often, I settle down with a pad and pen or my computer and work on my columns or other paperwork. When it’s light, I’m outside to do chores.
During the winter, it’s nice to be up early and work inside a warm house that’s surrounded by snow-covered trees. Even though I can’t see them, I know the cattle are bedded down in front of the yard. I can see the lights from vehicles as they pass by on the county road that runs past Pipi’s Pasture. People are going to work. It feels cozy and safe to be inside.
But, my favorite time to be up early is during the spring and summer. The air feels cool — just right before the hot day to come. The birds are just getting up, too. I especially enjoy the morning songs from the robins. Sometimes, their rain song is a prediction of the weather to follow. The calves on Pipi’s Pasture hunt up their mamas. When it’s barely light, the deer leave the yard to go wherever it is they go during the daytime, and I can work, work, work.
Since I get up so early, I’m ready to go to bed early, too. Lyle teases me that I go to bed with the chickens; he sometimes even looks at the clock and hints that I’d better be going to bed if I want to get a good place on the roost.
So, I’m off to bed, and my night-person husband is still going, reading or watching television.
Which are you — morning person or night person?
Editor’s note: This column was originally published on Oct. 17, 2001 in the Craig Press.
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