There is so much beauty in a pre-dawn world.
For 8 years of my student life, I had to wake up at 4.15am to travel from Johor Bahru to Singapore for school.
The chill of the air, the darkness punctuated by the last standing streetlight, the buzz of insects and chirping of the birds and the smile of the bus driver who only has a smattering of passengers. All of this I remember fondly.
The insidious violence of those mornings have also stayed with me. The harsh fluorescent light in my bedroom flicking on, cold water and a harsh facial scrub for ill-behaved teenage skin, being forced to gulp down breakfast with a churning stomach and the ever-present threat of being mugged as I waited for the morning bus.
The rising cacophony of car honks and the smell of exhaust -- they assaulted my senses and gave me a sense of safety.
As a young adult, I abandoned the act of waking up early and embraced the snooze button.
The past week, though, I’ve found the same wonder in those moments before the sun creeps up, in the stillness, in opening my eyes and experiencing the cycle of light and darkness human bodies are built to go though. And now, because it is my call, because this is part of a ritual, because it is done with intention, I feel a spark of excitement as I flutter into consciousness. I know that if I get up in the next minute I am going to be rewarded greatly for that one single bit of effort, that this decision will change the course of my day.
The sky is a dark bluish grey as my beloved and I fold and elongate our limbs, as we shake the drowsiness from our bones. The bed creaks as we step out.
Together, we've completed our first act of the day, one part of a promise to own this life together and for each other.