“Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.” – Cormac McCarthy
Another art journal entry for the year. This time the chosen words to illustrate are of course opposites: sunrise, sunset. Ready? Here we go!
In the early morning hours before the earth rotates enough to bring the sun into focus the alarm rings. Pitch black outside and the coldest hours of the morning are what my eyes spy first. This is autumn.
Our sunrises are pretty dramatic. During the summer equinox our dawn starts about 4:45 a.m. and our dusk kicks in around 10:30 p.m. giving us so many daylight hours to actually get things finished with the suns natural light. It’s so much easier waking up in the summertime, rather then the winter. Our daylight hours in winter are pretty bleak. We may or may not see the sun by 9 a.m. and by winter solstice we are looking at full on darkness by 4 p.m.
My body has adjusted to living this far north from where I grew up, waking up before the sun and going to sleep as the sun goes down is sometimes a blessing but other times a curse. Some winter days find me snuggled under the covers at 6:30 p.m. with a good book other days like the dog days of summer find me still outside weeding the veggies at 10. Those are the days I live for!!
“Autumn paints on colors that summer has never seen.”
Also as a sailor you learn the difference between dawn twilight and nautical twilight … yes there really is a difference. Mathematically it boils down the the angles of the sun in relation to the earths horizon but in an everyday setting just stepping outside there are times when first light appears and when the sun breaks the horizon. Gradually the light brightens and the earth begins to warm. Dawn is the weak light that is cast from the sun even though our sun is still way below the horizon line. This time of day is generally spent in my tennis shoes and huge baggy sweatshirts. The cooler hours of the morning are perfect for my work out times. Nothing motivates my day more than a really good workout with weights and a brisk walk of about 3 miles or so around town. My head will swirl with the sounds of Pandoras radio station set to George Winston usually or Hillsong. Depending on the mood and depending on what I have just previously read.
Just before my feet hit the floor and just before the dogs notice I’m awake my kindle light illuminates my room. I get lost in books the enrich my heart and soul. Good reading material to get the juices flowing and the mind focused on bigger and better life/world issues than the dreams that I just had.
I like books that challenge me to reach beyond what I know of myself and stretch me to think in new ways. These are the moments in the morning when the boyfriend is off to work and all is quiet in the world. Most people call this ” quiet time ” or ” me time ” but mostly it’s time for my brain to go beyond a level 3 happiness of servitude and simply touch the divine.
Workout and contemplation usually last a good solid hour, everyday I’m lucky that I leave a tall glass coffee cup in the car because my next stop before heading home is to one of our local cafe’s. Most days of the week ” wake up time ” is spent with three other people who were complete strangers to me a year ago. Couldn’t imagine my days with out them now but Wednesday mornings are spent with deep, deep conversation with two of my mentors. ( and I thought the books I read were mind benders ) The 2 70+ year olds that ” chat ” are full of the wisdom that I can only hope to glean from! I have mentioned Marilyn before in another post which you can read about in this years summer solstice post but the other guy has not been talked about. Steven, has been the very closest and dearest friend for the last 17 years. I am very fortunate to have such outstanding humans in my life.
When talking to people about designing their lives and helping empower them to reach their goals two of the most important aspects of that conversation are reaching in and pulling the potential out when the person I’m talking to doesn’t know that potential exists.
Mentors are a great way to help pull that potential out. The two I’m talking about above have done just that for me in ways that have been pretty significant. I have other mentors but they deal with other aspects of life or business or what not.
The other great tool that is used to bring out potential is reading. Books are truly the doorways to so many places and people and new possibilities. Strangely, I’m finding that not too many people read to expand their thinking anymore. That’s just what I notice.
Speaking about other people …
After the coffee shop hour I’m headed home to change clothes for the day and of course that all depends on what my schedule holds. As a person who has worked off her debt and really has no bills to pay I find myself busy with odds and ends, almost like a retired person who can’t stay still very long. I started a business back in 2006 just before that dreaded housing crash of 2008 ( wrong time to start a business helping people grow themselves and their businesses ) but with a little ingenuity I survived and a few of my clients that were not forced off the rock because of major loss were able to keep their homes and business and actually kept growing. So there will be days I keep up with my clients on the phone or over email.
Othe days I’m off the tend one or 2 of the 12 landscapes that I maintain. The majority of my gardening clients have houses on the island as second homes, which means, the landscapes are all mine most of the year. Yes, I share with them when they arrive for their summer visits and what-not but other than those times I am working alone. Perfect!
As a thinker and a dreamer I find I can plug in my tunes and not be bothered for hours on end. This gives me perfect and ample opportunity to work out problems that could be helpful for business opportunities with my first jobs clients or it gives the perfect opportunity to dream up new schemes and adventures. Doing gardening maintenance for as many years as I have done and in the same landscapes it affords me to run on auto-piolet. Love that!
The changing of the seasons are not lost and my notebooks are full of garden notes for each house I am at and for each business client. New ideas pop up and I jot down the notes, new weeds may appear and that gets jotted down, new ways of making money come into my mind and those also get put down on paper. Hours upon hours can be spent in total silence but if my head was made of glass you could physically see the gears just grinding away sometimes going so fast that smoke will emerge from my ears!
By the early afternoon hours I’m home in my own saucy garden raisin’ cane and food. Boyfriend strolls in from work in the afternoon so the rest of the day are spent together, unless he ventures off on a project.
By dusk both of us are headed for the couch. My mind could still be swimming from a day of ideas or I could be headed for the couch simply ready for a nap. It’s hard work thinking and dreaming all day. The one thing I do think about on a daily bases during the summer and fall is this: I must be outside as long as there is sunlight. If it’s still warm after dark it’s pretty common to find us around the campfire cookin’ dinner or chattin’ it up with the neighbors. These are the best days. These are the days when spendin’ all those months of planning a few years back showed that they paid off.
The stresses of life are left behind. Drama that comes from bill paying and deadlines have all but vanished. Simple living, quiet time, healthy food from the garden, a hillbilly wineglass full of our home brew and a great afghan by the campfire is all this girl really needs. The wants may out weigh the needs but those wants will come in time. Just takes a bit of planning!