Wake up to see new days, promises

Published 6:11 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I had a journalism professor who had some great advice for us students at Alabama after he had spent a lifetime covering violence all over the globe. Rick Bragg, who eventually won a Pulitzer Prize, told us if you ever have to go to a bad part of town to report, always go at, or before, 8 a.m.

He said this was simply because, “All the bad guys would still be asleep.”

I have yet to utilize this great advice because I have yet to go to a bad area and cover a story by myself — thankfully.

Email newsletter signup

I also am not at all a morning person. Does that make me a bad guy?

I always laugh at those morning people — the Sunday School teachers who tell you to wake up and have your quiet time with the Lord when you wake up. My only prayer to the Lord as my alarm goes off (which sounds like a sinking submarine) is for the alarm to be set for the wrong time so I can sleep in for an hour, or six.

I laugh at those nutty “morning people” who drink coffee and watch the birds jump around in their yard and just soak in the tranquility as their day starts as slowly as the sunrise over the Edmund Pettus. I think those are also the people that eat that meal called breakfast.

My mornings are as frantic as the traffic on the bridge — people honking, swerving and panicking.

I always choose more sleep time over my looks each day and I often show up places in the morning with lip stick smeared across my face, a rat nest in my hair and mismatched socks. In third grade I got off the bus at school to realize I was completely ready minus the pajama pants I still had on.

But I actually tried out waking up early this week, and I found that Old Town in Selma is such a special place early in the morning.

Little nuggets are marching to Byrd School with their backpacks, all of the stray cats are jumping out from the bushes and our beautiful city is waking up.

Seeing this new side of Selma reminded me of the many people in our city who may be asleep still to all of the new things that are happening. The revitalization of our city is happening each morning at the amphitheater, in the planning and development department and in every downtown retail store.

I have to commend all of our city leaders who are just about out of breath trying to tell our residents “Local is better! Local is better!” They are like frantic moms trying to wake up their kids for school and send them on their way with Pop-tarts.

Each morning we wake up to new promises whether we are morning people or not. We can only experience these new beginnings in Selma and these new promises (these new things happening in our bustling city) if we work hard to wake up each morning and take it all in as much as it pains us to leave our beds.