After third year ended, I went home to visit my family for a week. It was wonderful to have some time off to relax and also to tend to some appointments back home. I still see my dentist back home, so that was my first stop. After the appointments were taken care of, I got to do more fun things like go to the beach. Evenings at the beach are one of my favorite activities to do while I’m home. But the most memorable thing I did while I was home was go kayaking at 4:30 AM.
My dad and I like kayaking, but sometimes kayaking in the evening means contending with many other boaters, fisherman, and swimmers using the lake for recreation. In the morning, the lake was silent and we were the only ones there. It was dark when we started out at around 4:45 AM, but the first rays of sun were visible only a short while later around 5:00 AM.
As I watched the sun rise, I reflected a bit on some other early mornings I’ve had over the past year. On my general surgery rotation, back in the fall, I watched the sun rise every day from the 7th floor rooms of the VA hospital (which had some excellent views). On my OB rotation in April, I watched the sun rise again each day from the resident work room while we completed morning rounds, this time from the 6th floor of Albany Medical Center (with similarly appealing views).
As much as I sometimes resent getting up early, I find it pretty satisfying to start my day early and get a lot of things done before most people are up and moving. Maybe this will change as I get older, but I’ve always been a pretty good morning person. A little black or green tea improves my mood even more.
So although it sounds antithetical to get up early on vacation, kayaking for a few hours early on a weekday morning was pretty magical. It was neat to see the deer out grazing, unconcerned about human activity, and the frogs jauntily perched on their lily pads. There was plenty of time to sleep on my vacation, so I’m glad I sacrificed a few hours to get outside and commune with nature in the cool light of early morning.