September | Don’t Go Back to Sleep
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don’t go back to sleep!”
Ever since I started reading Rumi’s poetry as an angsty, wanderlusty teen, this verse has stood out to me, and been one of my favorites. Stay awake! Don’t sleep! There is so much to do, see, say–don’t waste it in your bed! It’s been one of the things I’ve always wanted to live my life by, but–
I love to sleep. I love sleeping. It’s one of my favorite things to do. And, furthermore, I am not someone who could generally be considered a ‘morning person’–something that’s gotten worse since starting my job, where I don’t have to be in until 10 a.m. Attempts in the past to get up earlier have resulted in me turning my alarm off and rolling back over to sleep another an hour or so.
Earlier this month, I had a little bit of a work trip that had me traveling to a state park two hours away at 6:30 a.m. When I pulled off the interstate, I realized that I was almost an hour ahead of schedule, so I decided to pull into the tiny town of Sinclair and wander, a little.
The streets were empty, and the light was beautiful. Most of the downtown is stucco + red roofs, grand and gorgeous–and I had it all to myself. It was the coolest thing I’d experienced in a while, and all because I was up, early.
I’m not sure if it was that experience in Sinclair, but toward the end of August, I started getting up earlier and earlier, even on my days off. I paddle boarded at a local state park at 8–went to the gym at 7:00–worked on personal projects at the kitchen table at 9. And, well, I found that it was really beneficial. They say that creative work is best done at night, and maybe that’s true, but my brain works hell of a lot better at 8 a.m. when I’ve had four cups of coffee than it does at 8 p.m. after I’ve worked 10 hours and can barely remember my own name. (although if I could work at night AND in the morning, now that’d be the dream.)
Green Day says wake me up, when September ends, but Rumi tells us to never fall asleep–sorry Billy Joe, but I’ll be listening to Rumi on this one. My goal this month is to fight the tendrils of sleep, to wake up with the sun, to adventure in the early morning light, to greet every day with a rolling up of my sleeves and a let’s do this.
Shannon Broderick is the managing editor of Atlas Addict. Catch her on instagram @rootsroads.