Natural Light Before Artificial Light - A Day Begins

Puriscal, Costa Rica

¿Como amaneciĆ³? An expression in Spanish that translates into - how did you wake up? or how was your dawn? Mario asks me this every morning and I answer it the same way, todo bien or all good. It's one of those questions you tend to not answer honestly or in detail. Dawn is my favorite time of day and this is how it really begins.

I don't use an alarm clock or even have a clock on the nightstand. I naturally wake up between 3 - 4 a.m. but because it is dark outside, I stay in bed. John gets out of bed around the same time and opens the sliding glass door at the foot of the bed. He does this so I can enjoy the easterly view and watch daybreak.

The first thing I do after waking up is drink salted water from a pitcher on the nightstand. Next, I begin silently chanting mantras. When the skies are clear I can tell how long before the sun will rise based on where certain stars or planets are in the sky. Lately the mornings have been overcast so I judge time by the shade of the sky and insect sounds. 

Puriscal, Costa Rica

In the early morning a few insects calmly chirp and trill. It's as if they are singing a lullaby. These bugs sing until the sky begins to lighten. Sometimes there is a brief moment of silence when the nighttime bugs stop singing as more light appears. I find this pause in sound the most magical part of the morning. After the silent peace birds begin to sing, followed by daytime insects. That is my cue it's time to get out of bed. 

You may be wondering why I wait to get out of bed, why not get up when I first wake up? It's because the quality of my light environment is important to me. I observe the motto "natural light before artificial light". I wait for enough natural light to illuminate my environment so there is no need for artificial lights. This helps keep my circadian rhythm in sync with nature. 


Oh yes, there's one more thing to the morning routine. Because the sliding door is open in the early morning, one of the neighbor dogs we call Smiley likes to sneak in right next to the bed so she can be the first to say ¿Como amaneciĆ³, Sally?