It’s 4am and I’m sat on a rickety chair in my son’s room, listening to the rain. He woke a couple of hours ago and has been restful since, as long as I don’t move. As soon as I shuffle, he’s awake again, asking where I’m going. My feet are a little cold and my shoulder is twinging slightly and I’m starting to get a bit worried about how well I’ll be functioning when my daughter wakes in two hours’ time.

But the sound of the rain is soothing. It reminds me that outside in the field, the grass grows and is cut and baled and grows again. The birds come and go, building nests and hatching eggs and singing. The wildflowers spring up and die down and spring up again. (Now, as June begins, it’s cow parsley and oxeye daisies, buttercups and red campion.)

4.20 and I can hear the very beginnings of the dawn chorus. The rain has stopped and I can almost hear the freshness in the air as the chirruppy birdsong gets louder.

Is there a happy secret to be discovered at this quiet time on this quiet morning?

My mind wanders back and forth. I vaguely thought I’d put together some kind of eloquent, cohesive, insightful blog post. But it is 4.30 in the morning and I realise now that was a rather optimistic thought.

Nevertheless, there is something to be said for being awake at this time in the morning in early summer, even if I can’t for the life of me think what that something is or how to put it into words.

But if I tried, really tried, it’d be something like this: the world is holding us all, with all our new beginnings and all our endings, our hopes, our disillusionment, our pain, our love. There’s beauty and goodness in the night and the day, in all the seasons, in the arrival of the wildflowers and their fading. In mourning and joy. In solitude and togetherness. There’s work to be done and there’s rest to be had. Life is here for us, and as dawn comes on a new day, all I can think of are Mary Oliver’s words,

Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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