Sunday, January 26, 2014


Elsewhere. Sun Rising in the West . . .
The Regular Life

Come October, the rising of the sun (well, our turning toward it) comes later. So that when I, often a night owl, woke early and headed to the pool at the rec. area, the world was still in shadow. Unlike many previous mornings—misty, grey, overcast—the sky was clear. I eased into the water (which, admittedly, seems colder and colder as summer fades), facing west, and began my routine of fast jogging (as fast as you can jog in water, which is slow), the brain going elsewhere. My quiet half hour that starts the day.

The view across the street turned into a stage set, complete with lighting. At the highest tip of the liquid amber tree, its foliage the elongated oval of a giant grapefruit spoon, two lone leaves turned from dull grey to copper as if a spotlight had been turned on. To the north, stand two huge old eucalyptus trees, the bark of their trunks smooth, tinted several earth-tone shades. Another spotlight flicked on, turning uppermost leaves golden.

Copper slowly painted the liquid amber leaves, save for a strange semi circle that remained the dull color of early dawn. And it dawned (uh-oh, little pun there) on me to turn, facing east, to study the shape of the big tree that had been behind me to see how it had blocked the sun from the section of the liquid amber I’d faced.

Instead of following my usual routine (ten minutes in shallow end doing press-downs with empty milk bottles, my uberly expensive exercise equipment, then ten with aqua-belt in deep end, then ten of laps), I kept up the run, jog, walk to watch the sun rise in the west and north. Hypnotically, majestically, more and more of the onstage tree brightened; color climbed down the trunks of the eucalyptus, until the sun kissed the deck, turning a nondescript faded pink to, hmmmm, the color of marigolds . . .

That half hour of nature’s theater took the place of my usual day-planning, plot unraveling, mental guinea pig wheel To Do list. Critic’s assessment? Golden. Riveting. Mesmerizing. Not to be missed.

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