Mulling things on my morning ramble
with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
The meathead lunged into the neighbor's shrubbery, then bolted back when a KHISSS erupted from the cat taking refuge there.
I never saw the cat.
Six o'clock didn't seem that early, but it was early enough for complete darkness.
In the darkness, I could hear a combine working through the night in a field well south of town. It's that time of year.
I've written long enough to have learned to stop writing well before going to bed. There is no sleep if you go to bed with your head on fire. That applies to more things than writing.
Maybe it was other things more than writing into the night too late, but I rolled awake too early.
Finally, after an hour of reading Elmore Leonard, I got up at 4 a.m. and set back to work writing. My normal getup time is 5, so it wasn't that out of line.
Except it broke my routine of starting out with Storm around daybreak.
And we walked into darkness on the edge of town.
I don't see fall as this wonderful time. I see it for what it is, a time of dying, leaves flaming into color in their death.
Light dying away too quick and coming back too late.
Years ago, I self diagnosed myself with Seasonal Affective Disorder. A SAD diagnosis friends agreed with.
As I age, I've learned to deal with it better. One friend even bought me a special light to fight SAD some years ago. I think it helps, and in that regard alone it probably works.
I've also learned to avoid highs and lows as much as possible. Stop with two or three cups of coffee at 5 a.m. instead of four or five. Don't have the extra glass of wine at night.
Exercise more. Force myself to get out in what light does come to our miserable existence in the fall and winter.
On the exercise more side, I stretch my morning rambles with the meathead out past two miles as winter comes on.
On the extra leg around the edge of a cornfield, wisps of smoke from the town's smoldering heap of leaves made both Storm and me snort and cough.
Near where dozens of hedge apples litter the ground on the back side of the town pond, a rabbit bolted. I could barely make it out, but Storm sure could and lunged toward it.
I hauled him in and felt thankful that skunks for some reason have not overrun our town. Yet, any way.
The feed mill on the edge of town was going full bore. This is the time of year when the trucks and semis sometimes line deep along the road, waiting to get in.
Darkness lifted by degrees as I came back into town.
Yeah, That is the Bruce Springsteen song and video that fits, but really, I think we need to end with my favorite Bruce Springsteen song and video.
Maybe because I used to hear it regularly when working the graveyard shift at a package delivery place to pay my expenses in grad school back in the mid-1980s.
"I'm on fire."
I can mimic that lonesome whistle sort of sound that Springsteen makes at the end quite well. It fits my disposition this time of the year.