Lately I shoot awake around 5:30 every morning. It doesn’t matter if it is the weekend or a week day. It doesn’t matter if I went to bed early the night before or burned the midnight oil. It doesn’t matter is the sun is shining or the day or overcast and rainy. The clock hits 5:30 and I’m awake. And that’s a real bummer, especially on the days when I hoped to get two more hours of sleep before starting my day.
When it first started happening I would lay in bed and internally bemoan the fact that I was wide awake and there was nothing I could do to fall back to sleep. I would toss and turn and try counting sheep. Nothing worked. I was awake and my body was ready to start the day. After I got over the internal complain fest, I would sit up and read or do something restful like adult color. But even that seemed like a bit of a waste of my day since I was up and should probably get dressed and start moving.
So now I take advantage of those extra hours and either go out for a long walk, or go about exploring some part of the area that I have yet to see. Many mornings I watched the sunrise over Lake Michigan. This past Sunday I drove the couple miles over to the Baha’i Temple and explored the outside of this stunning place. For two years now I’ve been meaning to walk around the outside and take in the stunning beauty of the place, but I had yet to find the time to do that.
But at 5:30 in the morning what else do I have to be doing? So I got dressed for the day, grabbed my camera and a coffee and went off to explore. The place is absolutely stunning and so peaceful. Since I got there early in the day there was only one other person I saw the entire time I was walking around the grounds. He helped me find the best spots to take photos. And he reminded me that it was a very holy place and to take advantage of that fact. I assured him that in the face of beauty like this it was not difficult to raise one’s mind and heart to God.
Next time I’ll have to stop inside and see all the beauty there is to behold from within, but the outside with its intricate design that weaves in symbols from a variety of religions, and the beautifully cultivated garden was enough for this first experience.
Now I’m making a list of place within 5 miles of my house that I want to explore in these early morning jaunts about town. Anyone in the Northern Chicago burbs, I’d love to hear your take on places to explore and things to see.