I was trained to wake up early most days. Up before dawn, usually to head to a morning swim practice before school or before the start of a summer day.

Waking early is now part of the normal rhythm of my life.

There is something about the early morning that feels spacious, open and unencumbered.

Minimal expectations (it's so early!), the darkness is quiet and gently expectant; it feels like stolen time.

And I know not everyone is a morning person. I don't know by experience, but I'd imagine late nights can have the same magical feel as early mornings. So, you do you.

But for me, rising before dawn feeds my soul.

I love how Mary Oliver explains it in her poem, Why I wake early ...

Hello, sun in my face.

Hello, you who make the morning

and spread it over the fields

and into the faces of the tulips

and the nodding morning glories,

and into the windows of, even, the miserable and the crotchety --

best preacher that ever was,

dear star, that just happens

to be where you are in the universe

to keep us from ever-darkness,

to ease us with warm touching,

to hold us in the great hands of light --

good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day

in happiness, in kindness.