Reflections from a series of 6am strolls

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of the “morning after.”

The sunlight gently flooding into the room through the parts of the window the curtains don’t reach. In the adjacent room, lights are on. The heavy headache and the messy makeup. Spilled drinks on the floor half dried up, furniture in disarray. The physiological confusion of being simultaneously drunk and hungover.

But worst of all, the walk back home.

Suffice it to say, the walk back home is when shit starts to feel real.

But that’s something I love and hate about walks in general – you’re forced to face your thoughts: it’s just you and them. In this particular instance: You first begin scrambling in your mind for memories and evaluate how much you regret doing all of the above.

The past half dozen Friday nights I’ve lived have had me make many such walks back home.

And I won’t lie, my steps are laden with regret and remorse, the weight of things I didn’t say, the burden of those I did. Fortunately, many of these walks back have had me too inebriated to have cohesive memories of them. But those are the better nights. The ones when I’m sober enough on the walk back? Those are the walks that make me feel the full gravity of my body.

But there’s also something I’ve found in these walks that have starkly different colours. In my drunken walks back home, I discovered such an intense appreciation for the morning.

The blue sky without the sun. The cool air with the gentlest breeze. The chirps of birds mid-flight. The residual pink clouds of dawn. The damp grass. The early walker, the slightly late jogger. In my stupor of shame, I found such lightness.

I have never appreciated the morning the way I do on these walks, and I suppose not a lot of people do either. It’s not our fault, the way we designed the world makes us dislike the prospect of waking and working. We are not awake to the morning.

There is a distinct appreciation for the afternoons: that feeling that the world has paused, the Earth has stopped moving. There is also a distinct appreciation for the evenings: that feeling that the world is moving faster than ever. Of course, one finds both these sensations in the nights, but I’m afraid my attraction to light-polluted polies robs me of this experience.

But mornings. Fuck, man. Mornings. I wonder how we would see the morning differently if we didn’t wake up to it. How would we romanticise it? How would we write poetry about it?

Whatever the answers to those questions are, the mornings, the way I experience them, are truly magic. There is such a serenity to them. There is hope, but not the excitatory kind where you feel prospect for the day. But a peaceful, a pause. That feeling that in this moment everything is good.

Of course, I only feel this way because the whiskey from the night before and because I know I will go home and sleep. My experience with the morning has always been waking up, getting ready, the commute and the academics. It’s just these past few Saturday mornings that I lived like never before in my life. It’s not a big deal or something new, but I feel as if I’ve discovered treasure. Not gold coins, but a pretty notebook with poems or a special flower that only exists for me.

I suppose it’s just a case of

We have no time to stand and stare

A colour palette that reflects these colours and feelings:

Cover Image:

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