As the daylight recedes in Michigan, I find myself plugging in the little grapevine lights above my window. During the summer months and the long lighted days, the lights are a waste of electricity. I get up with daylight and go to bed most often before nightfall. Who needs little lights when the sun is taking up all the space? But now I have hours to enjoy the tiny fragments of light in my window. They remind me that as the darkness of winter envelops us, it’s the little lights that will get me through.
I don’t sleep well in the summer. The sun, the heat and the summer energy is just too much. My body is so sensitive to overstimulation, and it’s difficult to calm down when it’s time for sleep. I’m sleeping again now. My body rises early, so it’s a treat to be so relaxed that I sleep in. That happens with some frequency now. It’s just one of the reasons I like fall. I can rest, and when I rest I feel more energized.
The sun is rising as I write this, and I welcome it today. The temps are dipping into the 40s at night, and it will be the sun that warms up the day so I can exercise comfortably. It’s nice to be home with a light schedule so I can run or walk outdoors in the middle of the day when it’s the warmest. This also makes my mornings more relaxing. I can ease into the day.
I’m overstimulated now with the news and the state of the world. I’m disappointed and angry at our leaders. I’m afraid of catching a virus that could lead to long-term health consequences. I’m anxious about finding work in an uncertain time. I’m lonely due to the lack of contact with others for work and social gatherings. There’s a lot to process. There’s not much to do but think. I have too much to intake and not enough avenues for output.
Grief, fear and anger require a lot of energy and suck up most of the air in the room. But there are little bits of joy that remind me how lucky I am. I live in a beautiful place. Lake Michigan’s volatile personality is a touchstone. She can be an angry, vengeful sea in the morning and a placid, soothing pond by sunset. She mesmerizes and enchants me. Her changeability motivates me to wait for another day, another hour, the next minute. My animals are blossoming with my 24-hour attention. Ashok has forgotten what it’s like for me to be gone and is anxious for us to go on adventures. She sits by the door as soon as I start getting dressed and blocks my exit. Her enthusiasm makes me giggle.
I watch television, a luxury I gave up for 20 years. I’m enjoying documentaries and comedies and meaningful dramas. I have time to cook and to feed myself properly. And I’m saving money. Without race fees, frequent eating out and the need for clothing, I’m just not spending that much. This is what life is like when you can only have the necessities. I’m lucky enough that I’m focused on necessity out of a temporary situation instead of living in poverty. I am grateful for my current scenario. It could be much worse.
The sun is almost up now. My little grapevine lights are fading into the foreground of the sunshine. My day is delightfully unscheduled much like yesterday, Friday and the day before. I may run out to the grocery or take my dog for a hike. I’ll eat up the last of my red beans and rice, and I think I’ll make some veggie burgers for this week. I have a few phone calls scheduled and, if it’s nice out, maybe I’ll take a drive up the coast. Today’s little pleasures light my way through the darkness.