4:00 AM

Early morning hath gold in its mouth.

~ Benjamin Franklin

How often do you see 4:00 AM?

Back in my radio days, when I hosted the morning show, I saw it daily. I seldom greeted it with a smile. Most mornings, I smashed the snooze bar, opting for 4:10. I can do 4:10.

When I worked the night shift at the nursing home, 4:00 AM meant last rounds: changing linens; emptying urinals; taking blood pressures; looking for an empty bed to curl up in until the morning crew arrives.

At 4:00 AM on a snowy December morning in 2000, a cup of coffee in one hand, my wife’s hand in the other, I began repeating the mantra, my husbandly duty, one last time . . . “Push!”

Perhaps it depends upon from which direction of the day you approach 4:00 AM. Is it better to stay up until 4:00 or to get up at 4:00?

With time running out, and term papers frantic to be committed to hard drive, I plan to get up at 4:00 AM tomorrow, just to see if the next paragraph will come to me then. For it seems to be lost at present, eclipsed by the light of day.

Few of us want to see such an ungodly minute. But there it is, nestled between 3:59 and 4:01.

4:00 AM is what you make it, I guess. And I’m not the only one contemplating its significance . . .

[photo credit]

12 thoughts on “4:00 AM

  1. That’s almost disturbing.

  2. Clint sees 4am on a regular basis. 3 am sometimes. Yes, that is how early he gets up for work. When he is home, I see it to thanks to his alarm! But I usually go back to sleep.

  3. I hope your 4:00 AM wake-up call wasn’t too offensive and that you found your paragraph. I get up at 4:30 almost every day. It’s the only time I can catch a workout before the day gets too busy with kids and life. I’m in bed by 9:00 or 10:00 though.

    My husband is a TED junkie. Haven’t watched your link, but when I find 9-10 minutes today, I will!

  4. There was a time when the middle of the night was more home to me than the prettiest, sunny days. I saw 4am from both sides more times than I can count. But life happens, children come along, jobs… and 4am is the last thing you want to see!
    I get up at 5am every single day. However, every once in a while I wake up full-on at 4:30am. It happens in phases. I’ll do it for a week at a time. I’ve done it the last two mornings.
    Did you get up at 4am? Did your paragraph come to you? I hope so. đŸ™‚

  5. you were still holding a cup of coffee in one hand while your child was being born?

    My eldest son was almost a 4:00 am child too. He was born at 3:55…..

    1. It was my fourth and final child, so I was old hat by then . . .

  6. I think I could get into a 4a groove. My husband got up at 4a on Thu and started irrigation by 5. He was done by noon. Farmer’s hours, he’d say.

  7. I love TED. I want to go some day. I’d like to have something cool enough to say that I could speak at TED. That would rock.

    I like 5. Not so sure about 4. I know writers with jobs who get up at 4 and get novels done.

    It’s worth thinking about.

  8. I can do 4 am if I have had at least 2 hours of sleep; any less and I can’t do it.

    I hope it worked for you.

  9. Fantastic post! 4am is a magical time for me also… I’m also a huge Rives fan. I think he’s the only poet who has groupies.

    When my first son popped out I remember looking out across the city and wondering how anything was able to move in that moment. I was still. The earth moved around me. And when did Jake pop out? It was about 4 in the morning….

  10. 4 a.m. can be good. i just posted about 3 a.m. wierd.

  11. Nothing chaps me more than to get to work promptly, ready to set the world afire only to have to wait for most of my lollygagging coworkers to drag in late, saunter to the breakroom for coffee, dawdle around the microwave while some questionable frozen morsel nukes for breakfast, and then dillydally around their desk perusing emails – all before they’re prepared to do any actual work! I was ready to attack before 8 A.M. and these slackers are just revving up an hour or (more often) two later! Grrr!

    So yeah, I’m definitely a morning person. I can move mountains before 10 A.M., but my brain is mostly shot by mid-afternoon. Still, while 5:30 is a cinch, 4 A.M. is only likely to happen is there’s the absolute promise of a brief, early afternoon nap.

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