When the sun sinks behind the horizon and the moon is at just the perfect height in the night sky, the view from behind Stauffer Chapel on campus is breathtaking. There’s something about the way the moon’s silvery light refracts off the water matched with the lazy rotations of the Santa Monica Ferris wheel that always made me feel safe.
The darkness after 10 p.m., has always been my favorite — everyone settling into their respective sleeping places and starting to slow down. Coincidentally, when I lived on campus, it was the time I’d start my descent from Eden Sigma Hall to main.
After waltzing around, saying goodbye to students scampering from Payson and listening to a good deal of music, I’d find my way to the same bench by the same chapel with the same awe-inspiring view and sit until I felt so small that everything else slipped away. It was just me and the moon.
Now I’m home without my bench. Yet my wonder has not ceased.
Lucky for me, I continue to fall asleep underneath the same moon that stood watch as I explored the random nooks and crannies of Pepperdine at 11 p.m. Something about that feels comforting; it feels like home.
I realize my inner peace was never guided by my earthly surroundings, but rather I was stilled by the grandiosity that is the overwhelming expanse of night. When I walk from my car to my front door at 12 a.m., it always strikes me how beautiful the hush is.
You’ll have to forgive me as I wax on poetically; the serenity of midnight ignites a creative renaissance in me. The dearth of activity unburdens my soul.
On the occasion I’m up at 1 a.m., the world feels ethereal and mystical. It’s hard to be my normally pessimistic self when I’m staring up at the winking stars. Problems that have plagued me all day slip away with a small whispered promise to be back tomorrow; but for tonight they’re gone. I can breathe.
At 2 a.m., I’ve relaxed so fully into myself that I do my best thinking. “2 a.m. Tiff,” my friends call me because this new persona is someone so different than the stressed day version of myself. She’s reclusive, often overtaken by the fatigue of the day, but I constantly try to remind myself who she is.
If by some miracle, I’m still awake at 3 a.m., my bed is the comfiest it has ever been, and I smile falling asleep knowing I get to enjoy all the same serenity in another 24 hours.
That’s the secret of all of this pedantic nonsense I’m sharing — we all have something that will make us feel whole. There’s an action, a place or maybe even a time of day that allows us to breathe a little deeper, be inspired, feel safe.
I hope you find yours.
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