Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Dark Outside


I was woken at 5am by someone crying. She was having a nightmare and I soothed her back to sleep. I came downstairs, made myself a cup of coffee and switched on my computer. I read a few blogs, read a couple of newspapers, and then it was 6am and still dark outside.

I love mornings. I love their potential. Even though my entire day is already mapped out for me (take people to their various places of learning, work, fetch people from places of learning, cook lunch, put baby down for nap, work, wake baby, take daughters to gymnastics and baby to park, make supper, put people in their beds, work), I love the feeling of not knowing how the day will be.

There is every chance my work will go well, that my people will have happy mornings, that we will have a nonsensical discussion at lunchtime, that I will allow myself a cup of coffee on the bench in the sun after lunch, that someone will finally learn to do a handstand at gymnastics, that they will go peacefully to bed and that my work will go well tonight.

Yesterday was equally mapped out and yet it contained small surprises of its own, the little heartbeats that make life more pleasurable – a chat with a dear friend in the morning while we were both working, a delicious soup for lunch, coffee in the sun, some drawing with my younger daughter, watching my older daughter run around the athletics track while my two younger children played an extravagant game of explorers in the bushes behind me.

Evenings are a time for reflection, for looking back on the day. While I relish the quiet, the sleeping house, the breathing of three people who trust to me to ensure that their days are steady, rhythmic and well mapped-out, I am usually too tired at night to enjoy it. I am scratchy, desperate for quiet, irritable that my home has not miraculously cleaned itself.

Mornings are different. Rested, I am ready for what the day brings. The dark outside still provides a blanket that I don’t yet have to throw off. I enjoy the luxury of potential, waiting for the first noises from upstairs that will indicate our day has begun. Until then, I enjoy the velvet neverland between night and day.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

12 thoughts on “Dark Outside

  1. I love early mornings like that too. Sitting in the dark of pre-dawn has a special quality that late nights just don’t. Here’s to another day of steady, rhythmic mapping. 🙂

  2. You got it, sister! Mornings rock…I deliberately get up before Martin so that I have a few hours all to myself….and oh how I love the beginning of my day.

  3. “the velvet neverland between night and day” — oh, just beautiful, Charlotte.

  4. If only I could pry myself out of bed earlier — I love that quiet, contemplative time too.

  5. mornings are indeed special like that…thank you for taking a snapshot of morning and its infinite possibilities for me! i coincidentally happened to read this almost-first-thing today…and it has given me a broad outlook on the day. thank you. 🙂

  6. I’m a little jealous: I only feel like that on early mornings when I’m not at work. Still it’s a lovely description 🙂

  7. The dark outside still provides a blanket that I don’t yet have to throw off.

    that’s my big problem: i seem to be unable to throw off my blanket until the day has thrown off its blanket of darkness.
    my lifestyle (no kids, no appointed time to show up at work) allows me to stay in bed until the day is well ahead. i never manage to get up before dawn. i do, however, get up before my nightowl gets out of bed and i enjoy the time to putter around before he joins me.

  8. I sometimes wish I could drag myself out of bed early, before the kids get up, for some nice quiet time. I never seem to do it, though. Also because our house is so tiny, and our wood floors so creaky and cranky first thing in the morning, I’m sure I’d just wake everyone up if I moved a toe out of bed!

  9. For a long time, Daniel would wake when I woke, no matter what time, no matter whether I moved or not. So I rarely enjoyed that delicious time. Sometimes, now, I’m lucky enough to step back into it.

    This was lovely. And I know that exact feeling about being grumpy that the house hasn’t suddenly, somehow, got clean. What is up with our lazy houses?

  10. It really seems to be the nightmare season for small people, doesn’t it? You make me want to set my alarm really early for tomorrow morning! I love the sense of the house before anyone else wakes up (including the cats)

  11. I love contemplative posts like this.

  12. Could not agree with you more. Early mornings before anyone else is awake are my absolute favourite. Now if only I could get the Bambina to sleep past 7AM! I’m lucky if she sleeps that late. Often, she wakes at 630!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s