A Marvelous Night

My father is a morning person if there is such a thing. So is my brother. Both love going to bed early and waking early. Both do their best work in the mornings.

Growing up, my dad was gone every morning before I got out of bed. When he’d return home to see me walking around in a groggy stupor he’d remind me how much he’d already accomplished. I was impressed. But not enough to have grabbed breakfast or got myself in the shower. What’s the hurry anyway?

Picture of Seattle at Night by CJM

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people refer to people like me as slackers, night owls or weirdos. “Early to bed, early to rise…”

And I used to believe them.

But I’m done apologizing for not being a morning person when I do my best work at night.

I love the night. Van Morrison had it right all along.

I don’t know when it started. Maybe when I was in college which had more to do with attending school during the day, working afternoons leaving evenings as the only time to tackle homework.

But it wasn’t until I moved to Seattle that I started to embrace the night. By the fall of 1995, I worked for a local ISP located in downtown Seattle. When the noon to 9 pm shift become available I grabbed it. But I don’t recall ever leaving the office when my shift was over. These were the early days of the internet and having a high speed connection was a luxury. I stayed at work surfing the web and designing my website. It wasn’t uncommon to leave my office at 3 or 4 am. If the night is darkest just before dawn then my timing is impeccable.

It was only a 15 minute walk from my office to my apartment on Capitol Hill. But I was in no hurry to get home. I loved the cool night breeze on my face. If I was lucky there’d be a light mist in the air. I’d pass the bakeries emitting delectable scents into the neighborhood. I could almost taste the cinnamon rolls or scones with orange icing drizzled on top. I’d see men and women tossing large bundles of newspapers at the steps of large buildings. I watched clouds of steam hover above the streets.

I savored the delicate soundtrack of the night, provided by the birds and rain instead of cars and people. It’s a side of Seattle few people experience.

Those were magnificent times. My neighbors didn’t know if I was coming from or going to work. Keeps them guessing.

Working a later schedule doesn’t exactly work well with children, so I’ve had to learn to adapt my schedule. But I still look forward to Friday and Saturday nights when I can stay up late and read or blog or walk outside off my deck and feel the cool late night breeze under moonlight.

Just look at what I’d miss if I were in bed like all the productive people?

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand” – Frederick L. Knowles

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4 thoughts on “A Marvelous Night

  1. Amen! As a fellow “night owl” I have to agree 100% with this post. It would be a dream to be able to work at night. The day is full of commotion, confusion and distractions so why would anybody want to work then. No, I can’t think of a better time to work then at night when it truly is the best time of a day. 🙂


  2. Power to the night owls! I’m an efficiency consultant and I swear by working when your productivity is highest – and for some of us, that’s the middle of the night. It’s 3:44am right now in Seattle and I’ve still got a couple hours of solid work ahead of me. When I wake up like a “normal” person I’m useless for hours. “Early to bed” my foot!


  3. Boy did you ever marry into the right family! The absolute best thing about retirement is not having to fight my natural schedule. I love the night hours. I find every now and then when I am up for the entire night that I also love the dawn but unfortunately I am usually asleep for that other beautiful block of time.


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