I still do it now. Wake up in the middle of the night, pad quietly through the dark still house and sit silent in the living room or at the kitchen table and just be. No need to turn lights on. No one in the whole wide world knows I’m up. It’s just me in the middle of the night quiet, when every house sound banished by daytime activities can come out to play, the clicking of the wall clocks, the on again off again whirr of the refrigerator and, once in awhile, if I am lucky, the one renegade bird in the night who doesn’t care that it’s dark out and sings anyway.
I did this as a child of course. Get up in the middle of the night and move like a secret shadow through the house, my body tingling with joy, my parents still asleep, those two God like forces deep in slumber. Back then I realized I was stealing time, living moments I think I’m not supposed to have, which of course makes them the most delicious moments of all. Moments when the all of me is present and alive and happy and smiling, I am swooning with unutterable joy.
No doubt stealing time spurred Beethoven into writing the Ode to Joy despite being completely deaf at the time.