By no stretch of the imagination am I a ‘morning person.’ My alarm clock often screams at me for hours before I finally crawl out of bed trying to ignore its chastising voice as I make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth. However, following a terrifying nightmare last week in which I awoke, quickly falling out of sleep with a few mental bumps and scratches, I decided to greet the dawn properly for once in my life. I have always longed to feel dawn’s ‘rosy fingers’ gently caress my face. Determined to make this particular morning memorable by seizing the opportunity to watch the sun rise, I leapt out of bed and hurriedly wrapped myself like a present in the warmest clothes that I could find. As I made my way out the door, I glanced down at my wrist and was amazed to realize that it was only 5:00am. I decided that the best place to welcome the new day would be Kensington Gardens which is only a few blocks from my accommodation. While walking down the all too familiar path to reach my destination, the frigid air pierced my lungs like tiny invisible arrows but knowing that I would soon behold one of nature’s most beautiful sights, the pain miraculously became bearable.

Gazing upon London’s extraordinary splendor in the ‘wee hours of the morning’ was an indescribable experience. It was as if I had awoken to find myself in an entirely new place. London is a heavily congested city which pulsates with such exuberance that it is often difficult to keep apace. However, I soon discovered that, in the early morning, before most people have gulped down their coffee, it is as if the city has been frozen in time; a modern day Pompeii devoid of wreckage. Upon finally arriving at Kensington Gardens, I looked upon the sky which, only minutes ago, was painted black to suddenly find it bathed in the sun’s warm yellow light. As the sun’s rays streaked across the morning sky, I felt an inexplicable urge to run and as if I could somehow catch them with palms wide open. With my feet now firmly in control, I was swiftly carried to a nearby pond in the middle of the park with benches conveniently decorating its perimeter. Without a single ounce of breath left in me, I collapsed onto one of the many benches surrounding this newly discovered reflecting pool. I then quickly reached for my water bottle which was neatly strapped to my back but instead drank in the scene before me and once again, I was rendered breathless. The most magnificent ballet unfolded before my eyes as a group of swans gently cascaded across the water’s edge. I had never before felt such peace and it was at that moment that I decided to become a ‘morning person.’

Courtney

Courtney

MSc Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation