Miranda, my cat, is the first to know I'm up at the crack of dawn. Little does she care I have reasons to be padding around the house other than feeding her. There are prayers and coffee to make which I perform to the tune of an orchard full of songbirds announcing the new day like it's going to be something crazy special.
Two days after the summer soltice, dawn begins at 4:07 a.m. where I live in California, but I give myself another hour of sleep and set the alarm for 5:00. That leaves me 45 minutes until the official daystart, but if I'm lucky I can keep writing until 7 or 8.
What's so special about writing at dawn? I could be sleeping like most normal people, but I love this 'in-between time' emerging gradually from the darkness of night. It hasn't opened into the full light of day. More like a rose bud, that's dawn. It feels like wonder and promise and hope.
I open my laptop and bring up my WordDoc and suddenly I'm in my Special World that Christopher Vogler describes in The Writer's Journey. When I'm writing I must leave the Ordinary World just as my protagonist must after he responds to his 'call to adventure'. I slip into it so easily at dawn, it seems like a gift bestowed from Beyond. I always try to prolong my visit as long as possible and I feel a sense of loss when I must leave. Sunrise ushers in the 'ordinary world' and demands my attention, my body demands to be fed, and I remember my journey like it was some kind of dream.