February 14th, 2008 by Potato

Dawn is a funny, unreal sort of time. The sun comes over the horizon, and on warm summer mornings, you can sometimes watch the terminator race across the fields, or see the light slowly change colour as the sun, somewhere hidden and close to the unseen horizon, begins to shine in the winter. It’s a quiet time, a still time — nearly supernaturally so. Everyone is usually still asleep, or at least still in their own homes, while the night owls are finally off to bed. No matter what the weather seems to be doing through the night, or planning for the day, it always seems to take pause at dawn.

The dawn often brings feelings of peace, tranquility, of sharing in something special and quiet and private. For me though, I often find two other strong emotions at day break. Anger, for one, is easy to explain: I’m often up all through the night, whether it be frantically working, or losing myself in another world through books or video games. Dawn is the undeniable signal that I’ve been ignoring my watch for too long, and it’s really getting to be time for bed (or, time to finish my work). I feel angry and cheated by the sun, that the night is not long enough, that I’m not finished yet. Sadness too sometimes takes me at dawn, though I seldom know why. Whether a lament for the lack of sleep that finds me awake for the sun (often, in this case, when the lack of sleep is less voluntary), or a nostalgic longing for those times when seeing the sun rise was truly a fun event: playing poker all night at Shubh’s, or goofing off at the cottage. Or perhaps the odd, unpleasant memories of past stumblings through insomnia, like the time I couldn’t sleep when high school ended. The night before exams were released I stayed awake. There was a thunderstorm in the wee hours of the morning, and I went for a walk in the rain, and just kept walking. Dawn broke through the clouds, and by the time I was done walking it was shaping up to be a hot, muggy June day. I stopped by the school on my way home, looking silly with my rain jacket in hand since it had been bright and sunny for nearly 3 hours. I did well on the exams that I collected, but for some reason the memory of that day always makes me sad.

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