Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

Why I Love Early Mornings


El Médano 8.30 it’s mid-October so it’s just after sunrise. I’m strolling the early morning beach two minutes walk from where I live. The dawn and the sunrise have been  inspiring. Instead of running or swimming I’m taking it easy to try to capture with my camera a sense of what the beginnings of my current days are like, recording memories for when I’m far away.

Currently my days begin here. Another early morning camera foray last month revealed a sub-culture of what I think of as “the sunrise folk” – people out at first light, walking, running, swimming, doing yoga and other exercise regimes, and most dominantly, a group of older, er, well-endowed ladies who were featured on local TV in the summer doing their aqua-fitness program. How could I possibly be embarrassed by my buxom-ness and my legacy-of-summer unfitness in this mixed company? Over 50% of them are, well, over 50, and most attempting less than I.

Of course there are the young/fit/beautiful too, but it would be the height of foolishness to compare myself to them after all. I decided that possibly one of the reasons for giving up at the beginning of the summer (using the sore foot as an excuse maybe) was that my route, chosen to keep me away from people in my embarrassment, had become boring, and so I came down to the main beach here, and it has been a delight, stimulation for my soul as well as my body these last, few weeks, and critical glances are cast my way I haven’t noticed!

Glancing inland, I spy Alto de Guajara bathed in rosy sunlight, framed between the town’s apartment blocks.  I seek out the mountain most mornings. It reminds me of one my best days in recent years, sleeping in a cave on its flank, to rise early and be caught in that same early glow. It’s a reaffirmation for me of life’s possibilities.

The memory sets off a train of thought –  memories of other early mornings, in other places, other times, perhaps even another me:…………..early mornings in cities, like York, ambling along the riverbank, bacon roll in hand, as the locals scurry or ride over the bridges on their way to work,  or driving past the race course, where the brume still hugs the grass; an early winter morning in its namesake, New York, the icy air making me catch my breath as I step onto the street, so it tumbles back into that freezing air like steam,  dodging into Macy’s for coffee and a bagel to fuel by body against the cold.

I think of early mornings in London:  pressed up against strangers, sweaty on the Tube, even in winter, emerging into the chill and the traffic chaos, we spill out of the stations like roaches out of an opened manhole. Especially I remember the early morning to watch the London Marathon; awed by the elite runners; and even more by those with disabilities, as they career through the damp streets in those vehicles looking so fragile yet being so strong; cheering on my son who dances his last few yards for joy .

I remember early mornings in Provence: a dim memory of a campsite in Port Grimaud, learning to ride a bike and childishly delighting in taking it every morning to collect fresh baguettes; later, Nice –  in winter, chèvre with sweet honey on chunks of bread and hot chocolate in a corner café with  steamed-up windows, or in summer wandering the market and choosing fruit for breakfast. Grasse – walking up to the bakery for fresh, buttery croissants, which spoiled me for croissants anywhere else in the world thereafter.

I take myself back to the utter peace of an English Lakeland early spring morning, magical mists rising, slowly revealing that beauty hiding underneath.

I remember early mornings in Rome, which on every visit seems to be bathed in a golden light, despite the hoards of tourists now, people-watching in pavement cafés, sipping cappuccino and envying the elegance of the local women: or in Paris – defying the drizzle to see sights I’ve only ever seen in movies; Scottish early mornings, sitting in damp grass waiting for a pheasant to rise, or tramping iconic  heather, purple upon purple, searching for elusive grouse; bright mornings cruising Florida’s Overseas Highway across the Keys, impossibly turquoise waters, warm air, a sensation crossed between driving and flying and sailing;  standing on a sandy shore in the Outer Banks gazing across an ocean from the other side, drinking in the peace.

My addiction to early mornings is not even diminished as, soaked to the skin, under threatening Welsh skies, I see off my son and the dozens of other runners for the Snowdonia Marathon…….you can see them snaking around the hillside if you squint.

For me it’s early mornings;  for you it might be sunsets or airports or a full dinner plate, a sip of wine or a hint of a familiar tune but whatever our trigger is, how lucky we are to have these wonderful travel memories, to be able to transport ourselves to places around the world at the pushing of a particular button in our heads. For now – another photo from the other morning. How lucky am I to be here right now?


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

12 thoughts on “Why I Love Early Mornings

  1. This was beautiful – it makes me long to be a morning person! Despite my inability to wake up early, I’ve always loved the early mornings. When we were kids, my dad would carry us out to the car before dawn, my mom would grab all of our luggage, and by the time we woke up a couple hours later, we were several states away driving toward a new vacation adventure! I still associate 4am with new journeys – full of anticipation and excitement!

    • Thank you both for reading and taking the time to comment! In my 20s I found it hard to motivate myself to get up early too! I guess having kids changed all that forever. When they left home they left me with a large-ish dog which needed plenty of exercise, so nothing much changed! Now, as you can tell, I am definitely a morning person. I love the light. I love the energy of all those other folk out there on the beach, and I love the promise of whatever the day may bring. Right now, the weather as it is I’m finding harder and harder to get myself home to work….which is not good now that sun up is getting later. I actually miss those summer days in England which began at 4am with the dawn chorus!

      Lovely memories you have there. I adore road trips I had memories of those too & some other stuff, but then I thought the post got long enough! I have a huge, huge dream of doing a really long road trip in the US one day. Love the quote at the top of your blog….SO true! Thanks again.

  2. I´m an early bird, too. I´ve always loved the peace and quiet and the beautiful light. Makes me feel glad to be alive.

    Beautiful post, Linda 🙂

  3. Thanks, Marianne. Despite the quantity of folk on the beach in the early morning, it’s nothing like the numbers later, and it’s so much easier to feel close to the earth (well, the sky and ocean too), and if feels as if everyone feels that way, you know – so much easier to feel the divine, that unity of man and planet, which is my idea of god. OK – off the soapbox it’s time for tea :=)

  4. thanks for a most enjoyable post Linda. I too am a morning person and try hard to understand that plenty of people including my sons are not! The English Lakes with early mist are stunning as are some of our cities, London, York, Oxford. Early morning puts a rosy glow on the prom for my seaside walks. running not possible due to dodgy ankle but otherwise very similar to you. Not as pretty as el Madeno but invigorating!

  5. Love this Linda! There is something so meditative about early morning light.

  6. Isn’t there, though! It’s not just because of the photography, is it – nor even just for the beauty (and it is never the same twice) – but I think it’s the promise which gets to me. A new day. A new journey.

  7. Ah, memories. There seem to be many things that trigger travel memories for me — more and more as I get older. You’re right, we are very lucky to have them! Beautiful post, Linda.

  8. Thank you, Cathy. I really was thinking all of that as I ran the other morning. The post was practically written in my head as I was running along & I was worried that I might forget it before I go home, but it is more or less the way my mind was running on!

  9. Linda, I want to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. To accept go to and complete the process.

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