The Exploration Hour
There is something magical about the hours when most people are asleep. Sitting in the quiet house or walking in the yard with the stars shining above you or the sun creeping up the horizon. A magical aura hides within the silence of this time which I dubbed “The Exploration Hour”.
I discovered the Exploration Hour as a teen when I battled insomnia. I was homeschooled at the time. One night in particular sticks out in my memory. Late one night I had laid out my economic books all over the kitchen table, attempting to catch up on some work. After I had been working for a while, my older brother, who is the definition of a night owl, came to the kitchen for a midnight snack. I was startled by him. Startled, but not surprised to see him, as he always stayed up late. He was very surprised by me and even more surprised that I was doing something productive. He shared his snack with me and we talked for awhile and then both went back to our projects.
That night not only did I learn about the magical fuel for the body known as cheese toast, I also learned the magical night time silence was fuel for my productivity. I named this mentally fueling time “The Exploration Hour”
An Unexpected Find
In college I discovered that The Exploration Hour existed not just at night but also in full days. Days when the campus was empty like on Saturday mornings while students slept in, or when most people were home on longer breaks. On these empty days the Exploration Hour was there.
I loved to stroll the campus before noon on those Saturdays and any time I got the chance to stay a day into a break or return early I would take advantage of them. It was during these times when the silence that filled the usually busy campus called to me. The silence wanted to be filled with my thoughts and ideas. I could read for hours during these quiet times, or think of ideas and the future. Everything was peaceful and calm during the Exploration Hours. They were just what I needed during a busy time in my life.
The Exploration Hour Today
The Exploration Hour is when I have done most of my soul searching and life pondering. In fact until recently my exploration hours were the only time I let me be myself.
Now that I have a family of my own, Exploration Hours are hard to come by. Teaching full-time and having to be at the school by 6:45 makes it hard to explore during the early part of the day. Dinner, cleaning and prepping for the next day, not to mention trying to spend time as a family make it difficult to fit much in during the evenings and even harder to stay up into the late night. But tonight I am here, thinking, typing, exploring. And perhaps you are too.
When is your “Exploration Hour”? What do you during that time?
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