I left university at about 3:30 this morning. However much I try to be a day person, I always work better at night, and my night owl tendencies resurface no matter what. I’m fairly sure I have a diagnosable sleep disorder, but that’s by the by.
I’m often wary and on edge about going home at that time. I prefer to get a bus home by 3 am or stay until after five when morning people begin to come to life. I have the usual concerns about going around in the dead of night alone, and some experiences of my own, but I’ll revisit that another time.
This morning, it was so still and quiet. The wind was blowing but the only noise and movement was the leaves; there were no people to disturb my mind. I was warm in my jumper and jacket, but the air was cool and crisp, and my temperature was, and had been, comfortable for a few hours: a nice change to recent experiences. I had been much less shaky whilst working on campus, and I enjoyed the process of thinking and working through parts of my project.
When I left to go home, apart from it being peaceful around me, I was peaceful inside. I remember walking the path from the building I’d been working in across towards the bus stop, and I couldn’t stop smiling. The (metaphorical) clouds had lifted and I felt freer and less weighed down than I have in weeks. What a joy. What a privilege.
What a joy and a privilege to feel free and un-weighed down, to feel the clouds lift as if physically from my shoulders for just a few minutes. What a joy and privilege to feel completely ordinary for that short while.
I tried to find some pictures that reflected my feelings. It’s a sensation I often only have when I’m in or next to nature and the elements. I was reminded of a morning, several years ago, when I went walking with a few people in the Yorkshire moors at about 5:00 am. These photos (above) are from that time.
Image credit: owl illustration found at Plateau Art Studio blog.