[Field notes = real-time ramblings that I’m typing out on my phone and/or scribbling in a notebook. Not edited for clarity or typos or punctuation … or any semblance of coherence, really.]
I look up from the never-ending flurry of Slack messages to which I’ve been responding and notice it’s 4:42pm. Fudge!!!!! Only exactly 17 minutes until the sun sets. I know this because I religiously check the sunrise and sunset times in the hopes that I can witness (and ideally be outside for) at least one of the two each day.
Granted – there are many obstacles that prevent this intent from always becoming a reality, including, but not limited to:
- Karl the Fog
- Work (*crowd boos*)
- My own inertia (especially in the evening when I’m already comfortably underneath multiple blankets)
But, like I said, it’s a goal of mine. When I’m outside for the sunrises and sunsets I feel more alive and connected to the earth and its seasons … like I’m living on “nature time” and not on imposed “work time.” (An aside: I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about how I can live more in tune with nature and the seasons. And, related, how I might embrace my own ebbs and flows (in passions, in productivity, in mood and emotion) … my own seasonality, if you will. “To everything there is a season.”)
This past week each sunset has been more beautiful than the last and I’ve been doing a disappointing job of getting outside for them. As referenced above, there’s often a lot of blanket-induced inertia that prevents me from getting outside for sunsets in particular.
I hurriedly put my laptop aside (Slack be damned!) and untangle myself from the three blankets I’m sitting under. I rush to the closet and grab the first sweatpants, beanie, and jacket (oops, it’s Thomas’s) I see.
It’s 4:51pm and I’m outside our apartment. Eight minutes until the official sunset and the sky is already streaked orange and pink. I’m trying to get to a vantage point as high as possible in the next few minutes; luckily Buena Vista Park is a straight shot from our apartment on Waller.
Sometimes songs just plant themselves in my head … from where or how I don’t know. Does that ever happen to you? Like my body tells my brain, “You have to listen to this song right now.” And it’s always a song that I haven’t thought of or heard in months or years. This evening – for whatever weird reason – my body tells my brain that I absolutely must listen to Phil Collins’ “I Wish It Would Rain Down.”
So I find the song on Spotify and it starts playing through my headphones. The backing gospel choir comes in at the exact moment a flock of birds flies overheard just above the telephone poles. I’m struck by an overwhelming feeling that my spirit and soul are clean. My heart feels full and my body light.
4:59pm exactly and in my rush I’m starting to take the stairs two at a time. Buena Vista, I think. An apt name for this park.
I find a tree stump to sit on and take out my notebook.