Writing before dawn began as a necessity—I had small children when I first began to write and I needed to use the time before they said, Mama—and that was always around five in the morning.
This quote resonates with me as I often write in the early morning, before my own small children call my name, sweep their bare feet against the worn wood floors. Toni Morrison’s quote allows me to think about my mornings in sweet creative, a swift flutter of choices, tools, and time, the abundance of love, nurture, and daily domestic duty. With all the tasks that must be done before we walk out the door to our respective days, I am happy to make the choice to read and write, if even for a moment, a sentence or two, as I watch the sunrise.
I think about how words work hard in that precious bit of dark that swirl of plum, gold and gray, the sun and moon. The words hurry and stir alongside a choir of snores and sleepy boys, inside my own quiet prayers and meditation, crowded in an assembly line of food for packed lunches, or in between imagined ingredients for dinner. Not to mention all the details: washing, dressing, eating breakfast, then walking out the door in the best presentations of our selves, with little bother and quarrel. It is no small task, these mornings, yet the words find themselves present at dawn wrapped in whatever my dreams left over, finding their way first to the day.