Before a City Wakes

There are thousands upon thousands of cities in the world, and all differ. Their sizes vary – some are small, some are large. Some differ in their demographic – more men than women or more citizens above a certain age and so on. They differ in their architecture – some are entirely new and modern and some have areas dating back hundreds of years. But all cities look, sound and feel exactly the same in that quiet moment right before dawn.

No matter what city it is, in that unclear light, before the sun peeps over the horizon, they will be quiet. Quieter than any other moment of the night. Those who work and live by day aren’t yet awake or are still in their homes, and those who live by night have already finished their outings or their work and have gone home. The streets are almost completely bare of people, and the lone car that whooshes past seems to be an intruder, much too loud and intrusive for this quiet moment.

All cities look the same during that small space of time – it is the only time any city is truly sleeping, resting, gathering its strength for another day and night of bustle and work and noise. It is breathtaking- the clear air, free of smog or smoke; the absolute peace that permeates every road and sidewalk and building; the utter and undeniable feeling of being between. Between the night and the day, between breaths, between the very phases of being that make up any city.

It is wonderful, being awake when the city sleeps.

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2 thoughts on “Before a City Wakes

  1. This post reminds me of dreaming, and more specifically of this:

    The Dreamer, the unwoken fool
    In dreams no pain will kiss the brow
    The love of ages fills the head
    The days that linger there in prey of emptiness, of burned out dreams…

    I know exactly that time you’re talking about, and it’s perhaps the best time to breathe in and appreciate what we’ve accomplished as a species.

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