By the time I get out of bed most mornings, the world’s been awake for hours.
I could give you a dozen excuses—bad habits, too many TV show episodes the night before, my faltering body and its increased need for rest, my empty schedule. These days, there just aren’t too many reasons for me to get out of bed with the sun.
Sometimes, though, a 7am blood work appointment rolls around, and I get to see the world all over again.
Stifling a yawn, I slid into the driver’s seat and started the car. I watched out the back window for neighbors and their dogs as I backed out of the garage. The sky was a deep periwinkle, suspended between night and day.
Spanish moss swung from the arms of the live oaks arching overhead—trees that have weathered half a dozen hurricanes, shading the street for generations. My blinker ticked as I waited to turn out of the neighborhood. Rush hour hadn’t begun, but the driver who inched up on my tail when I pulled into traffic was obviously in a rush.
I made my way through the quiet stop signs, drumming on the steering wheel in tempo with the pop song on the radio. A blush of pink peeked through the trees.
Light and dark.
Day and night.
Those things have come up a lot lately.
It’s been a long few months. I still have more questions than I do answers about why my body is behaving this way. My doctors are trying a few different treatment routes and, every so often, doing another lab to see how I’m reacting to one or another of them. So it was that I’d woken up at 6:30am on a Friday to have some stranger stick a needle in my arm.
As the traffic light in the distance drew closer, I asked Siri to play Andy Gullahorn’s “Grand Canyon.”
The arrow was green. I swung a wide left onto a four-lane road, stealing a glace through the gap in the trees to my right. Light was seeping over the horizon. One by one, street lamps flicked off as I drove under them. I sailed through a few more traffic lights before turning right again.
The sky over downtown was splashed with watercolors. Traffic was picking up as the world awakened. Andy sang over the speakers,
...there’s a bird out there still singing in the dead of night
Like it knows there's a season when the sun's gonna set
But the story isn't over yet.
[Andy Gullahorn, "Grand Canyon"]
By the time I left the lab, the sun had made her entrance. I drove home, squinting at the glowing orb shining between trees and billboards. The night was over—it was not, after all, the end of the story. Morning came, just like it had come every day since the dawn of creation.
It was like what my professor told us in my Freshman Bible class about how evening came before morning in Genesis one: Life may begin in darkness, but it always ends in light.
And there was evening and there was morning—the first day and the five hundred millionth day and every day in between.