Throughout my life I have gone through many stages when it comes to when my “hour of power” is during the day. The hour of power is the time that your energy is the highest and most potent. When I was in my early 20’s my hour of power was anywhere from midnight to 3:00 am. This is when I would get the creative rush and would do everything from writing poetry and songs to painting.
Then, in my mid 30’s I had kids. Suddenly sleep was a very precious commodity. Time to myself dwindled and all but disappeared. My entire life became about family and the needs of the family. Yes, I would find some time now and then to squeeze a few minutes of art into my life, but it became much more of a rare occurrence. I went from being a night owl to being an early bird. My creativity shifted from painting to gardening, and there was no better time that between 4:00 am and 6:00 am to be able to get that done before the small children arose.
Gradually, I became not so much of an early bird as I was a morning person. Kids grew up and moved away and I found myself not under so much pressure to be in total attendance of family needs along the way. I found myself waking up closer to 7:30 am and having a bit of a slow start to the day. Gardening would still happen between 8:00 and 9:00, but definitely NOT before my morning coffee. I still tend to have that wake up time and I make sure that I am in the home gym for my workout by 8:00. After that, and before I start work at 10:30 I slip in whatever gardening or attendance to house plants etc that may need to be done. But now I also have a dedicated art and music studio, and I find that my music happens generally between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm, whereas my art can happen almost anytime through the day. But what I find interesting is that I am slowly slipping back into being a night owl.
When I do art or writing, it is usually at a time such as now…somewhere from 11:30 pm and onward to sometimes 1:30 am. That is when my creative juices flow the best. Some days it feels like I am burning the candle at both ends. My mother used to warn me that “If you burn the candle at both ends, what you end up with is a very short wick.” I, like most dudes, would never want to have a very short wick. So I make sure to not stay up too late and to get nap time in through the day (usually between lunch and my first afternoon client).
But there is something special about this time. The house is so incredibly quiet. The evening dishes are done, the coffee pot is set up for morning, the kitchen and living room are put back into order for the night. The hush of the house is interrupted only by the occasional household appliance or furnace firing up. I can hear the ticking of the clock on the wall of the living room. It feels somewhat comforting, as though the passing of time being registered in an auditory fashion resembles the heartbeat I would have heard as a fetus in my mother’s womb.
This time of night also reminds me of every time I have ever lived out in the country and would listen to coyotes yipping or wolves howling or owls hooting. I miss that a lot, living in the city. The sound of nocturnal predators somehow has always brought me a sense of home. Some may find that disturbing. I have never found it to be anything other than relaxing.
The silence of the house inspires me to let my creative side out to express himself. I get much more fulfillment out of that than I do from attending a rock concert. Noise has never served me well. Silence, however, has always been my friend. Perhaps this is why I had become a night owl in the first place, so many years ago. And perhaps this is why I find myself, once again, turning back to the practice of being a night owl. It centers me, grounds me, calms me. And from that place of centered, grounded calm, anything can happen.