It seems I am rising earlier as I get older. And here between the Great Lakes sunrise almost comes at around 8 am in winter. My first hours are dark ones. The weather folks are promising precip today, and sure enough, I hear the sound of wet tires on the street outside. A perfect recipe for the onset of SAD, which I seem to enjoy more and more with age.
All this means I must attend to my spirit more consciously in winter, or the hormones and latitude will drag me down. Of course the Dark Night of the Soul is a legitimate spiritual location, but as my mood affects not only me but those around me, a gloomy persona has repercussions. Unlike Melville's Ishmael, I cannot go to sea when the urge to knock hats gets irrepressible.
One thing that gives me a fragment of equanimity is my back yard. Right now it is an assortment of greens. The little lawn, the ivy, the vinca, a patch of juniper-like shrubbery, the stubble of hostas, all vary in shade and texture. Only some outlandish parsley is bright green, the others are all darker and duller - the color of dollar bills and old pants and unpeeled avocados. Some are matte, some satin, some glossy, so that the overall impression is of an inadvertent Japanese Garden, with its emphasis on slight variations of shape and form and hue.
This pleased me - not only the scene but that my gardening indolence and the seasons created something quite aesthetically coherent by accident. I like accidental beauty, unplanned elegance. Such moments tell me there is something unifying present in the welter of existence. Logic and experience tell me not to take it too far - as William Paley did with his 'watch in the desert.' Like the background noise of the Big Bang, it is enough for me to sense there is something present.
The day will be long and worthwhile. Few moments for noticing. Thought it would be good to do it while I could.