If you have the Billy Joel song stuck in your head after reading that post title, you’re welcome. So do I.

I miss being a night owl. For most of my life, even when I was a kid, I loved staying awake until the wee hours. That’s where I found a lot of magic, where I did some of my best world building. Things that didn’t seem possible during the day when the sun was shining light on the world seemed more than possible, even likely, at night. It’s peaceful, quiet, still. And yet it still teems with life if you know where to look and how to listen.

Since starting this somewhat unnatural journey toward menopause, I’ve become acquainted with the wee hours again. Now, however, I’m seeing the wee hours from the opposite side of the clock – I fall asleep early, then wake up around four and can’t get back to sleep. Either hormones fluctuate and conspire to keep me restless or my body says “get off my back and/or side” or both.

I’m literally counting down the days until surgery and hoping with a good portion of everything in me that I’ll be able to get a solid eight hours of sleep in after we extract the rogue ovary. It’d also be nice to be able to go back to my night owl schedule if I so choose… but I’ll settle for eight hours or anything close to it. Maybe in a months’ time, I’ll be back on track. Maybe.

Tonight’s a good example of sleep that didn’t happen. I was up by four, realizing pretty quickly upon awakening that returning to slumberland was going to be a pipe dream. I don’t even try anymore when nights like this hit because the restlessness is more aggravating than staying awake.

So as I’m trying to be quiet so as not to disturb my hubby – and not being terribly successful tonight because Pip the Kitten chimed in with her version of the early morning wake-up call – I’m struck again by how much I miss being up this late. A lot of the writing I’ve done over the last decade or so has been accomplished during late-night sessions. Good portions of Leroy and Olman County were born on the backs of fog- and cricket-filled nights. So was much of Firefly Hollow.

I have the TV on, the volume turned low, and I’m watching traffic flow through LaGrange, Kentucky, on Virtual Railfan’s YouTube channel. It’s one of my favorites because the trains lumber by, passing nearly directly underneath the camera, and you can almost feel the rumble of the locomotives as they pass. No trains as of yet this morning, but I have my fingers crossed that will change soon.

At any rate, the traffic is really starting to pick up, all the folks heading off to work I’m guessing. And seeing that little town, so close in geography and layout to my fictional Leroy, makes me think about the Hudsons and the Gordons and Ethan and all their various assorted kith and kin. What would all of them be doing right now?

Some would be sleeping, the lucky ducks. Some would be awake with sick kids or late-night calls to crime scenes. Others would be getting ready for the day, part of a routine established years ago. Given that I’ve never been an intentional early riser, I feel sorry for those characters. Even though I’m pretty well wide awake at this point, I don’t like it. The only reason to be up this time of night is to be getting ready to sleep. Am I right?

Of course, the bonus of being awake this early is getting to see the sunrise. To see the early morning fog burn off and the day coming into being. And that is a beautiful happening to observe. There’s something about seeing the dawn turn into morning, all fresh and revitalized and renewed. Maybe there’s a bit of a morning person in me somewhere. Buried deep, tucked away, waiting for a chance to see the sun rise and then fall back into a drowsy sleep. Yep. That sounds about right.

Happy Reading!

T. L.