Worry Before Dawn

I wake at dawn. Sometimes to worry but most often to simply be awake. It is a special time of peace before rising up to greet the day with all the activities that follow thick and fast and one after the other. The word Uhtcear came to my notice this evening via a couple of websites and the idea caught my fancy. UHTCEARE (n.) Pronounced- oot-key-are-a. It’s an Old English word meaning ‘lying awake before dawn and worrying’. I hope you are not one to suffer thus.

The fact that there is a specific word for predawn worrying sessions is fascinating but the predicament is no joke of course. As a child my first thought on waking, and this is really sad, was What have I got to dread today? It was usually a visit to the dentist, Five more days until the dentist…. Early days of monastic training had me jumping out of bed at the sound of the wake-up bell without a second thought. Rarely did I wake before the bell so my early morning thought dissolved, never to return. Not in that form anyway.

If you are one who appreciates verse try – An ode to uhtceare! With a hat tip to Mark Forsyth’s book – The Horologicon

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