On Friday morning, the alarm woke me at 5:15AM, reminding me that on Friday, I start my day with yoga class at 6:30AM. By 6:00AM, I was out in the park walking the dog, staring up, open-mouthed at a preternatural sky. Surprisingly dark and yet brilliantly lit with a crescent moon hovering in the middle of a brilliant cluster of stars.
With the dawn coming noticeably later each morning, I find myself having a harder and harder time getting into first gear each morning. I wonder if our ancestors noticed the difference. Did they just get up with the sun and go to bed with the sun and not really notice if the days were longer or shorter? One thing’s for sure–they didn’t wake up to the mamba as recreated by the iPhone.
As the days shorten, my desire to get out of bed shrinks proportionally. Am I pulled by the forces of thousands of years before me when people didn’t set alarm clocks? Or am I just over-worked and under-rested and more resentful of my alarm because the dark sky reminds me that I’ve spent far too few hours in bed?
As Tisen and I make our way around the star-lit park, leaves rustle above our heads and below our feet. The young sycamores planted in the park have already given up on photosynthesis. Their leaves have dried and shrunk into brown cocoons hanging precariously from branches or littering the sidewalk below. The leaves on the sidewalk will be meticulously blown away by the park maintenance crew by the time we take our afternoon walk. The effort of an entire growing season whisked away, leaving the trees nothing to show for their pain and preventing the nutrients locked in the web of leaves from returning to the soil. A cycle broken.
Fall has always been my favorite season. As cool winds become prevalent, humidity drops, and blindingly blue skies become common, I find it hard to resist crunching through leaves and looking for birds, many exposed for the first time since spring on bare branches offering little camouflage.
But on Friday morning, as I turned my face skyward and bathed in the feeble light from the stars, moon, and street lamps, melancholy swept over me. It was a brief, passing moment. The moment of realization that things are coming to an end, although I couldn’t name what those things were.
By Friday afternoon, when I stepped out with Tisen in overpowering sunshine with a crisp wind reminding me that 80 degrees doesn’t always feel warm, I felt hopeful again. Heat and humidity are coming to an end. The summer breeding season for the birds is coming to an end. And this opens the door for new possibilities. I felt myself welcoming the change in the weather. The change in the birds. The change in me. A cycle working.