A new day arrives quietly in the small hours. No sunrise to herald its arrival; no light to show the way for those who await its coming. The seconds tick by slowly and sounds of a settling house interfere with the silence.
For those asleep the night is upon them. For one who watches, the morning hours are at hand; the hours when a body should rest and rejuvenate itself in sleep.
Only in sleep can the mind and spirit settle the cares of the day just gone – making sense of the madness that is life. In sleep the answers come unbidden.
To the one who will not or cannot sleep the answers are elusive; the questions foreboding. How will the new day work? What will it hold?
Without the rest to take upon the new day’s cares the minutes tick by endlessly and, although morning is come in the early hours, yet it feels like the longest night.
To begin afresh one must awaken.
And to awaken one must succumb to slumber.
How to close the eyes and mind to all that is gone and is yet to come? The mind will not rest, the eyes will not close until physical exhaustion dictates that it must be so.
Awareness of duty in the day that lies ahead pushes the feet in the direction of the place where heads must lay to rest.
And so, although the morning is here, the night begins.
Too short a night for true rest and rejuvenation, but time enough to replenish physical well-being for the activity that lies ahead.
To lie asleep the next day until body dictates wakefulness will be the dream, but only that, for when duty calls in the voices of those who cry for attention the body will answer despite its desperate need for sleep. And then the real day begins.
The wakefulness of the bright morning is harsh; the one which should herald hope in a new day.
Hope will find a way to penetrate the activities otherwise the body could not go on.
The pen can write no longer for to do so would deny the needs of those whose cares are priority. When the children call they must be answered. It is written so. The needs of the children must come before those of the parent.
Only sometimes, when all duty is done and love has played its part, can the parent relax and steal some time in the small hours of the morning when real morning has not yet come; when night still lies ahead and when, eventually, the dream of sleep becomes greater than the need for quiet time to oneself.