At 5 o’clock in the morning,
when all was still,
homes still sleep,
the roads rivers of calm.

At 5 o’clock in the morning,
when the earth was alive,
the trees salute the morning sun,
the birds welcome the dawn in song.

At 5 o’clock in the morning,
the first bus of the day
rounds the corner,
already laden with its first load.

At 5 o’clock in the morning
an intruder steps,
unsure and uncertain
of this fresh new land.

It has been a while since I last needed to be up and out the house before 5am, and so last Friday when I had a train to catch at 6, I felt like I was entering a new world. (some of you I can imagine, are regularly awake and out the house maybe even before 5am – for those I shared a bus with it was the norm.)

It was glorious with the sun rising, the freshness of dew before the spring shower clouds appear and the unharmonized bird song breaking the quiet – ask me to do it again in the middle of winter or late autumn and I can tell you it would be a different story – with the darkness and rain – I’ll give that one a miss.

There was something refreshing, life giving about this time, this experience. I felt like I had been missing out on something. As I walked down the road to the bus stop, I breathed deep and closed my eyes just for a second, soaking in that feeling of newness, or life and its potential, before getting overcome by the work of the day, the stress of catching the train and worry of navigating London Underground. For that moment I allowed the newness of the day to seep in and calm my soul.

“… Be still, and know that I am God! …”  Psalm 46

It’s something that can so easily be forgotten, lost in the busy-ness of everyday; the meetings and appointments; the pile of paperwork, emails to answer and phone calls to make; the families to look after, house to clean and meals to cook. Whatever it is for you that consumes your time may you find the time to breathe deep and rest for a few seconds in the wonder and splendour of God’s creation.

I needed the reminder, the nudge to stop and breathe deep, I just wish it wasn’t at 5 o’clock in the morning.

Rev Samantha Sheehan, Leeds Universities Chaplaincy Minister

Picture – used with permission. By M Aspinall