Friday, October 14, 2011

8 am on an October morning

I was down in my cellar office early this morning.  I had finished the routine stuff: my overnight email, my traditional bowl of cereal, and cup of coffee. 

I was scanning my frequently-read blogs for any interesting news or opinions.  I was putting off getting on with some database programming that I hope to flesh out this morning, when I heard Sasha, our surprisingly-large black cat, upstairs by the back door, asking to be let out.

I walked upstairs, poured a second cup of coffee, and noticed the clear bright sunlight streaming into our yard, opened the back door and, with Sasha, stepped outside, still in my bathrobe.

We live less than five miles from the heart of downtown Portland, but in an old house built in the 1930's, in what realtors would call a 'park-like setting'.  As Adrian Monk would say, "it's a blessing, and a curse."

Right next to the house is an enormous old maple that we recently had thinned out, so, for the first time in years, it now has an open, visible, fractal structure.  The sun, still quite low, had just cleared the line of trees to the east, so the tree was bathed in that wonderful light that happens this time of year, and is especially obvious when, unlike the past few days, the morning sky is clear and blue.

I paused.

As the sound of Sasha's collar bell receded as he headed off to survey his territory, I noticed the bird-song and the swirling birds criss-crossing the scene every few seconds.  I sipped coffee.

I felt the sunlight on my face, and marveled at the power of nuclear reactions 93 million miles away being able to be felt here. This led to a cascade of thoughts, ending with the marvel that those same nuclear reactions made possible all the green things and animals (including me) in the scene, not to mention the ancient fossil fuel that had been extracted, refined, and delivered to my house, to warm the water in my coffee cup.

Yes, I thought, the Sun is the source of all Life on Earth, and it's entirely sensible that the first religion should be to honor the Sun. I feel this is how religions got started - one Sun god.  Humans being as we are, we then have the inevitable development of some men (or women, but I bet it was men) who convince others that they know how to insure that the Sun will definitely return to its summer strength, as it appears to be dying every mid-December. There is nothing like a priest(ess). 

But I digress.

It's a lovely morning, after several very damp, grey days.  I have work to do, clients to visit, and chores to tick-off my list.  It's mid-October already and I am approaching my 60th birthday next month.

I genuinely enjoy coffee.  I genuinely enjoy my cereal in the morning.  I appreciate the Sun and don't feel the need for an earthbound perspective on how it got there.  The Universe is, apparently, a very large place and our local star is apparently located on the outer fringes of a very large galaxy, that is only one of a zillion others. That's OK.

We have cats and birds and trees and each other, and miles to go before we sleep. We've had Kurt Vonnegut and George Carlin. I'm happy to be here. Nothing lasts. 

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