I wrote last week about going to bed with the chickens. Every day of my life I have sighed with profound pleasure when my head hits the pillow. Especially as a child I put my head heavily on the supper table and thought, Please, oh please, like the little Lord Jesus, let me lay down my sweet head and go to bed.
Birdsong at dawn is a hallelujah chorus. I can’t wait to get up – Let’s do chores! – and usually have a great idea to tell Sam. He is a polite man, too be sure, and tries to listen, but he really doesn’t want to speak until he’s had two cups of coffee. Any chores for him couldn’t be attempted until say, 11:00.
According to the internet, about 10% of us are early birds. I suppose the world needs more night-owls for all those after-dark events – noisy restaurants, noisy bars, glaring lights. I do not go out at night. The obnoxious street-lamp on the utility pole burned out a year ago and I asked Sam not to fix it. “If I ever am up at night, at least I can see more stars when the yard is dark.”
The last day of January I took a nap because I wanted to see the super blood moon lunar eclipse after midnight. It was bitter, below zero. I almost didn’t get up with the alarm, but decided it was worth it. Sam tossed back the covers, too. We stood out on the boardwalk in our slippers, with coats and hoods. The red disk looked other-worldly. He said, “I’ve never seen this before. Thanks for getting us up.”
Then I had a bright idea. “Let’s go upstairs to the south window. We can see it from inside.” I opened the window, stuck my head out, and leaned to get the right angle to see through the bare trees. Sam gripped my arm just in case. Then I held onto Sam while he took a turn. Satisfied, we hurriedly closed the window and slipped back under the warm covers.
A few weeks later, I woke in the middle of the night and noticed the sparkling stars. The next morning, I asked Sam, “I didn’t see that one star that I have seen before.”
He smiled at me, held up his index finger and went to get his old star-gazing chart hanging by the front door. He put on his professor’s hat and explained, “See the months around the edge of the circle? Now move the wheel to today’s date and time. The right hand of the star map shows what will appear in the east.”
“Wow. I’ve never looked at this. How did I never notice? I mean, how did I never figure that out?”
“You had other things to think about,” he said kindly.
I felt pretty sheepish. “For heaven’s sake, don’t tell John (our friend and retired history teacher who knows pretty much everything). He’ll choke on his coffee.”
Anyway, early birds (10%). I’m also left-handed (10%), and an innate Type-A neatnik competitive, impatient introvert. Now what do you suppose the percentage is of people with all three? Does that make Sam a really lucky guy?