6 o’clock

“There’s something special about 6 o’clock in the morning.” What a great first line for a song. I’m not sure John Sebastian quite pulled it off — it’s not one of his most memorable songs — but many mornings at 6 o’clock, I sing the first line. 

This time of year, 6 o’clock in the morning is dark and cold and quiet, and I think the dogs are nuts to want to go out there. But I remember 6 a.m.s when the sun is shining and birds are calling to each other and the air is bright with the promise of a new day.

I’m guessing Mr. Sebastian wrote that first line in the summer.

Still, warm or cold, 6 o’clock represents the beginning of the day for most people, a proverbial and literal fresh start, a time for reorganizing and refreshing and preparation and taking a deep, quiet breath before plunging into the chaos of another day.

There’s something special about that moment.

Everyone knows it’s windy

I have never seen the wind, but I have felt it sweep cold into my bones, and I have seen leaves dance across the yard, and trees sway, and rain and snow fall almost horizontally. I have been comforted time and again by the melodious non-melody of our wind chimes outside my office window.

The wind is a mighty metaphor for God. I have never seen God, but I see the effects. I have seen God’s glory.

A day of living

This could be the last day of your life.
Or it could be the first of thousands.
Faced with that uncertainty, the only thing
to do is to make it a day of living.

Open the boxes of Christmas decorations —
smiley snowmen and baby Jesus.
Tannenbaum goes up this weekend
because it is a day of living.

Find a song to sing, find a reason to smile,
find a reason to give, call a long lost old friend,
or go for a long walk and kick piles of leaves,
just make it a day a living.

I have known days with laughter a constant companion
and days when the tears would not stop.
We never know how many days we have left,
all the more reason to make each a day of living.

“Get a life!” mockers cry, but what do they know?
This life seems just fine when I look at it clearly.
Of course, my past is much longer than my future these days,
so I relish every new day of living.

Yep, this could be the last day of my life,
though I’d rather look forward to thousands,
but the one thing I know that I can control
is to make it a day of living. 

May you always have reasons to be thankful,
may you always thank those who need thanking,
may your life be filled with strivings worth striving,
and countless grand days of living.

The October poet

The poet stares at the once-verdant trees, now a mixture of green and yellow and emptying branches. He reaches for the words, but minutes go by and there is only the muddle. Was it this hard for Whitman, for Frost, for Dickinson, for Cummings, or did their hands simply dance across the page writing divergent paths and not stopping for death and just spring?

It all looked so easy on the page, those clever turns of phrase and sparkling images casting light against the darkness, but this is digging in soil, planting seeds and pulling weeds, this is hauling concrete to lay a foundation, this is clearing land and picking stones and creating a farmstead out of wilderness.

He chose to study words because he didn’t feel fit for physical labor, and now Herculean labors pose themselves merely to put a few dozen words on the page.

“I was misinformed,” Bogart said with a deadpan smile.

“Please allow me to introduce myself,” the Devil said, seeking sympathy.

As the sun rises behind the clouds, the trees prove to be more yellow than it seemed in the dark. Before the light came, the yellow had mingled with the memory of the lush green of summer, but this is the first of October, and though the TV meteorologist promises unseasonably warm temperatures today, we are entering the season of growing cold, and eventually brown and gray, and finally white.

Days are ahead when the idea of green leaves and warm breezes will be far-away dreams and the air conditioner will hibernate.

“And how is the weather?” sings an ancient Turtle, eerily, changing the subject from unrequited love.

“In Penny Lane the barber shaves another customer,” sings an ancient Beatle, painting a picture in the pouring rain.

And the ancient Stone keeps on Rolling.

Just a hint of fall color

The other day I mentioned the blasts of orange and red on the otherwise still-mostly-green trees in our little neighborhood not far from the waters of Green Bay, but I neglected to show you. Autumn is a pretty time of year.

Actually, all four seasons have their beauty, but you don’t need me to tell you that. Sometimes the job of the writer is to point out the obvious.

It is well past my bedtime, but I have not taken any time to write a blog post today, so this is obviously one of those filler posts to maintain the daily streak. When you have posted something every day for 1,152 days, you’ll probably throw up a lame post or two yourself.

Make it an amazing day — After all, Sept. 26, 2023, will only happen once.

Everybody Lives

The last thing I remember before I was jolted upright and out of bed was seeing a top-ten list — maybe it was books or maybe it was songs or albums or movies or TV shows. All I remember from the dream is seeing the title of the No. 2 item:
Everybody Lives.
Everybody Lives!

There are so many things we have to go through in life, but it’s life — Everybody Lives!
Nobody lives forever, but Everybody Lives!
Everybody gets a broken heart sometime, but Everybody Lives!
Bad stuff happens and sad stuff happens, but Everybody Lives!

I can’t say why that thought galvanized me, but galvanize me it did. And maybe it’s silly to make a big deal about it, but dang it, I’m excited.
We have to live through so much to get where we’re going, but we live every minute of it, and that’s the beauty.

Everybody Lives!

I don’t even care what was No. 1 on the list.

Still time

As usual on Monday, the WordPress algorithm offered three “Related” posts for people to explore if they were intrigued enough to read further after my musing “Meta Physics.” See them there, down at the bottom of the page, if you read that far?

One of the options this time was a post I posted on Dec. 30, 2021, as I contemplated the year ahead, the waning number of years ahead, and what I wanted to accomplish in the time allotted to me.

The post was called “It is time,” and I riffed off the memorable moment, in the history of this place near the shores of Green Bay, when defensive coach Kevin Greene took talented Clay Matthews aside and told him, “It is time.” Moments later Matthews made the play that all but sealed his team’s Super Bowl victory. It was indeed time to rise to the challenge, and Matthews came through.

That day just before the beginning of 2022, I wrote:

I’m into the fourth quarter and it’s a tie so far, or perhaps a slight lead. I’ve made a touchdown or two, maybe a field goal, but the end is not far away and the W is not quite nailed down.

IT IS TIME. Oh, yeah, I’ve written some books, even sold a few handfuls, I’ve blogged more than 500 straight days, picked up some followers, got a couple dozen email readers whom I rarely regale.

IT IS TIME. What is it I want to say? Entertain – Enlighten – Encourage. Meh. My mission statement/vision consists of three wandering generalities. Let’s be more specific.

I want to encourage people to use their brains and common sense and take initiatives. Encourage people to act with fearless freedom and not let busybodies and bullies run their lives.

I want to enlighten people about what came before – fun but semi-forgotten books and songs and TV and radio, and thoughts like Wallace D. Wattles’ “you are a creator, not a competitor” … 

I want to entertain and give the world adventures, stories that do all of the above and a few thrills and chills and spills — but after every chill a warming, after every spill an ascent.

Those thoughts are a little more focused, and here I sit a half-hour after starting to write, a little hesitant, a little inspired, and not sure what to do next. 

“Just get started.” Who said that?

It is time.

Ah, these 21 months later, much has transpired and I’m still not satisfied with my progress along the way. However, I realize now that dissatisfaction is normal and probably even healthy. Who wants to sit back and say, “Ah yes, I’m satisfied now, I have accomplished everything I set out to do”? At that point, nothing would be left to do except pass on to the great beyond.

Better, I think, to reach the point where I’m called to the great beyond and think, “Well, I had more to do, but I guess I can be content with what I managed to get done.”

That said, I am still a little hesitant, still a little inspired, and still not quite sure what to do next.

And a little voice is still saying, “Just get started.” After 21 months I recognize the voice. It’s me, of course.

It is still time.