David Moseley

The magic of mornings

2013-06-12 08:35

David Moseley

My dad worked some distance from our school. He was early bird back then and seemingly always keen to get into the office while the moon still had enough wattage to illuminate the waters of the deep blue sea.

This combination was bad news for the Moseley boys.

The distance from home to school to work for my old man often meant sleep-depriving early drop-off at the school gates, on some occasions even arriving before the caretaker had unchained the entrance. We looked like two lost souls who'd been left overnight.

Worse, for two boys whose scholarly pursuits seldom reached beyond average, we looked like we actually wanted to be there. We did want to be there. Just not at the same time as the Bogyman was operating.

My brother, never one to let other people's rushing about get in the way of a good nap, usually shrugged off the early wake-up calls and immediately went back to sleep on the car journeys to school.

I'm almost certain that he snoozed through the first three lessons of the day too. He's not a morning man, nor an afternoon man. He's more a late-evening chap, perking up while the rest are winding down.

Once, while visiting him in London, I woke up groggily in his apartment after a barn-storming night on the town, only to find him fast asleep on the floor and clutching a two-litre Coke bottle in one hand, a PlayStation remote in the other and a digital version of Tiger Woods instructing him to "put it on the dance floor now".

"Steven," I said in the tone of an older brother who'd run out of any influence about five years ago, "don't you have work today?"

"Ja, ja man. Work. Later," was all he managed to mumble. 

"Well what time do you have to be there?"

"Nine, man. Nine."

"Nine tonight?"

"No man, nine in the morning," he said while rolling over and pulling a blanket up over his head. A half-eaten chicken kebab dropped from his lap.

"Steven. I hate to break it to you, but it’s almost three in the afternoon."

A slight hesitation from the dozing heap on the floor, an instant where he seemed like he might just leap into action and race back in time to reach his work on time. Not my brother.

"Ah shit. Okay." And with that he took a slug of warm, flat Coke a nibble of his kebab and went back to sleep.

I popped out to a press conference at Lord's, returning later to a note on the fridge that read... "Told my boss he had the timesheets wrong and that I was on at 9pm. Ha ha. Sucker. At work now. Where do you want to go out tonight?"

My brother. He likes the nightlife.

Not me, though. Once I'm up, I'm up. I can't be sure, but I think it has to do with my dad driving us to school while the sun was rising over False Bay.

Reaching the top of Ou Kaapse Weg just as the sunrise hits the mountains of Stellenbosch, as the sky changes from black to purple and the clean lines of Muizenberg come into view below must be one of the most impressive sights you can hope to see in South Africa.

It's a scene, I think, that's left me with a longing for that time of day, for that moment in your daily routine when everything is crisp, fresh and full of wonder for what the day might hold.

There's an optimism, a sense of renewed vigour, that hits me every time I'm out as the sun peeks out from the horizon.

The dim dreariness of mid-afternoon emails and incessant phone ringing is still to come, but at that early morning moment, as a cool breeze stings your eyes when you step outside and a dozy day creaks into life, you can feel the magic of inspiration and enthusiasm in the air.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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