It’s 5AM on Monday morning. The horizon gives no sign that the sun will rise again today. I have to remind myself that the sun isn’t rising until nearly 8AM these days. I have not yet adjusted to the fact that daylight savings doesn’t end until November–although I wish it didn’t end at all, preferring the extra light at the end of the day. I have three hours before Pat will be up and ready for our morning walk. That means plenty of time to “putter.”
Although I am not a morning person (or maybe because), I like to have time alone in the morning to do the things that I never think about once my day starts. Having been able to sleep until 6AM fairly regularly of late, I’ve lost about 2 hours of putter time, although the extra hours of sleep are welcome. Today, after taking care of the most urgent work emails, I empty the dishwasher and refill it. I scrub the counters, stove top, and sink, trying not to make so much noise that I wake Pat. Then I take my laptop and sit outside, writing my blog, checking Facebook, doing the things that I think take 10 minutes each, but can erode hours on the clock before I realize it.
I watch the clock on my computer carefully today and stop myself when it gets to be 7:30AM. I check in with Pat to see if he’s awake and if he wants to walk today. Getting an affirmative, I finish my coffee and get myself cleaned up and dressed. I am ready to walk out the door 10 minutes early. I try to find something to do while Pat finishes his morning routine. I make the mistake of logging into work’s instant messaging and answering more emails from my laptop. Before long, Pat is waiting for me.
But, I tear myself away, taking my phone in case I can’t stand not checking email again, and we head out the door for a quick walk along the waterfront, our preferred way of starting the day. The sun is just now easing it’s way over the hills to the North. The first rays shoot across the Tennessee River at a steep angle. The mist blowing around just above the water is so dense, it looks like a frozen tundra with snow blowing across it. I try to get a shot of this with my iPhone, but the effect is lost. Always a conundrum–to bring the camera or not to bring the camera–today I kick myself for being lazy.
We continue our walk and the mist breaks up gradually and disappears as if it’s melting in the increasing light. The water reflects like a mirror, setting off the swirling remnants of mist perfectly. I could stand and stare at the changing scene forever, but I do have a day job and we haven’t had breakfast yet.
We take a turn at the Walnut St Bridge and head towards a local coffee shop that serves bagels with smoked salmon for breakfast. It’s quick and healthy, although not cheap. We sit inside, but at a table that faces the windows that overlook Coolidge Park. It’s a view of trees, mostly, but it’s still nice.
We head back to the apartment via the shortest route, now, since it’s already 8:30 AM and the flow of incoming emails is getting difficult to keep up with from my phone. We walk between the buildings to get back to Frazier St, following the footsteps of a toddler we had seen the other day. He had run out from between the buildings towards the street. We might not have noticed him except that his mother, still out of sight from our vantage point, screamed like someone getting stabbed in an effort to stop him in his tracked. Her ploy worked–he froze in place.
We continue down the sidewalk past the shop with novelties in its window. The Librarian Action Figure we laughed about a few weeks ago is long gone. She, and all the other familiar objects, have been replaced with a halloween display. We are reminded that in spite of all the weekend Halloween events, today is the actual day. We discuss whether there will be any need for candy at our apartment. Deciding that trick or treaters probably don’t wander up and down our busy street and, even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to get in our building after 6PM, we agree not to buy candy.
Part of me is happy about this descision–for 10 years we lived in a “haunted” ravine in Columbus where the only kids that came were teenagers trying to frighten one another. Yet, for 10 years, I bought halloween candy “just in case.” This led to many binges and regrets. So, I am happy I will not be tempted by bags of candies hanging around the house. At the same time, I am sorry that I will miss my fix this year and have nothing to gorge on.
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Between costumes and candy, what’s not to like? Even as a young adult, I used to decorate my work area with extensive halloween decorations and take candy into the office for co-workers. First I gave up costumes, going only to a 1/2 dozen costume parties in the past 20 years, and none in the last 10. Then I gave up the decorations. Now, it seems I have given up the candy, too.
A father with his son appears beside us at an intersection. His son is wearing an eagle costume. When the light turns green and the father gives the OK to cross, the son flaps his way across the street. I smile, but I am struck by a sudden sense of loss. While this boy looks forward to parading in his costume with his classmates and collecting gobs of candy, I look forward to getting through a few hundred emails. Why is it that being an adult so often seems to suck all the imagination and sparkle out of life?
We return home with me suddenly craving mini Kit Kat bars. At the end of the day, I watch out the windows to see if there are any trick-or-treaters in the streets. My co-workers are begging off early because they have to go hand out candy, but I see not a single child in costume. As the sun sets and the moon rises, I get out my camera and set aside my nostalgia for Halloween. Tonight, I will focus on shooting the Halloween moon.