Work wakes up.

Lisa Haneberg wrote recently on her view of downtown Seattle at 7:00am:
Observations about Downtown Workers.

She ended by asking, “What does your city look like at 7am?” and this was the first comment she received:

“7:00 am? UGH! Who would want to know that!?! ;-)”


book readers know I love, love, love to start my day with a morning run (Chapter 5): At its best I’m out the door at 5:30am. The glorious thing about summer here is that I can actually get a head start at 5am sometimes; the sun has already begun to light up the day.

When I’m home my run is residential and nature scenic, and I drink deeply of the power of the land itself, and the sense of place which makes Hawai‘i so gloriously Hawai‘i. When I’m traveling my run is usually about the cityscape and bustle of work no matter the island”•those of you with romantic palm tree and white beach images of our islands would be very, very surprised at how city we are.

6:00am to 8:00am is my absolutely favorite time of the day no matter where I am. I wish there was a way I could stretch it out somehow. And what Lisa did, watching the day get started for people, is such great food for thought with the coaching I do; I get fascinated by the way that people prep for a day’s work. Sometimes, they seem to think they are quite invisible, and that people like me”• the runners, walkers, bikers, skaters, and other work-out nuts”• don’t actually see them. If we do, we don’t count anyway.

So I find I can watch them quite openly and intently, and they don’t even notice that I do. It has become a game for me, figuring out just how much they love what they do”• or not, by the way they get started.

…I get to watch newspaper carriers fold, roll and tuck the day’s edition to best stuff their canvas carrying bags.

…I see delivery guys creatively maneuver big rigs and double park to avoid narrow alley-way loading docks.

…I smile as the landscaper watering the plants in a rock garden will carelessly-on-purpose let some light spray catch the housekeepers sitting at a bus stop nearby, because he actually enjoys the way they scold him.

…I watch shopkeepers gently wake the homeless they’ve allowed to sleep on their stoops in exchange for free night security (yes, in Hawai‘i as well) and then start to sweep the sidewalk in a manner that tried to sweep away the injustice of it all too.

…Nearby, a police officer sitting in his plainly marked car ignores most everything as he drinks coffee from his commuter mug and experiments with the new laptop powered by the cigarette lighter in his console.

Work wakes up, life kicks in, and I see ho‘ohana everywhere, ‘imi ola waiting to emerge.


  1. says

    Great images Rosa – it was almost like we were watching those morning rituals with you. My favorite morning observation is at my local (you guessed it) Starbucks – I love the rhythm of the place, with all the different orders coming in, and repeated to the barista, then repeated again when it’s on the bar, and all the people parading in and out, in varying degrees of haste. It’s like music, in a strange way. Thanks!
    (PS: I finished “Joy at Work” and posted my review – take a look and let me know your thoughts. Thanks again for the recommendation)

  2. says

    Rosa, I too love the morning. Although I have shifted my running to the evening during the week, the Sunday morning run is usually quiet. Unlike the weekday early risers, on Sunday most folks start later and then maybe to head to church for service.
    The morning is the most positive part of the day, everything is open. When we choose to make our mark, those ‘to do’ items fall off the list one at a time or with a big bang like a ten-pin strike. Then at the end of the day, we can look back having accomplished so much, and ahead to another day still full of potential.

  3. says

    Hi Rosa,
    I enjoyed your post today. In the past it would be very difficult for me to get up out of bed before absolutely necessary to get to work.
    Lately I have been waking up about 6:30 regardless of what time I go to bed. I make a glass of tea and sit on the front porch, which faces east, and just absorb the energy of the rising sun. I can close my eyes and focus on the smell of the flowers at my feet or the sound of the birds in the trees. This has become my morning meditation, if you will, before I head off into the hectic workday. I think it helps keep me balanced and I am actually enjoying getting up early.
    As always, I appreciate your wisdom and insight.
    Have an awesome day!

  4. says

    Starbucker I so agree; Starbucks (or any busy coffee café) is a favorite place of mine to watch work wake up too. And thank you for the Joy At Work review! You have me thinking about that book a lot again” watch for another post.
    Steve, now that I’m back in Waikoloa, the neighborhood is earning its occasional nickname of Waika-blow-a, with morning winds hurling themselves down into our village between the mountain saddle above us. So I’ve been shifting to an evening run habit too. I know there is quite a time change between us, but I’ll be thinking of you!
    Ken, it is sooooooo good to see your name light up the blog again! Thank you so much for sharing your morning meditation with us :-)
    Such great comments guys; your ‘voices’ will be my terrific memory the next city run I take to watch work wake up!