I loaded a program on my iPod called “Planets.” I entered my longitude and latitude and now it shows me the position of planets in the sky. It also shows the moon. It provides rise and set times for them, as well as the sun. It has been pretty handy. I check it in the morning when I head out for a run. It is dark at that time and I get to see what is still out. I also check it in the evening. Even if it is cloudy I tend to look to find out what I am missing.
Lately at night, just before bed, my son has been keen to see it. He wants to see what planets are out there. That is great itself, but the thing I love is that he wants to really see them. This little electronic gizmo is just a tool. He wants to try to find the planets. He wants to see the moon. Tonight he ran to the window and pointed. “I see it,” he shouted. “I see Jupiter!” He was excited. He was pretty fired up last night as well. He has been loving exploring the night sky. That makes me happy, as a parent and as a human being. If he can learn to love the world around him, especially at night, both he and the world will be better off.
Lately, Jupiter has been the planet to spot. Mornings, I can see Mars and Venus, but my boy isn’t typically up when they show themselves. He can see the moon, however, and he has been enjoying watching it grow these past few nights. “A half moon!” he spouted when he saw it tonight. Good stuff.
I have been getting up early to run these past few mornings. I love to do that. The problem is that it is hard to get up early. At least, it’s hard to get up early enough to be back in time to get all of us ready for work and school and whatnot. I’m rising in the dark, and it is only going to get darker. And then I’ll get all used to the darkness slowly shifting they’ll throw daylight savings at me. I pretty much hate daylight savings. Why can’t we just pick where the clocks will be?
Anyway, I’m getting up early. I have to be all careful so I don’t wake the woman in the bed next to me who has tried so hard to sleep all night. I have to be quiet as I walk down the hall and down the creeky stairs so I don’t wake the children. I always step on some toy or bang into some chair left in an odd place. I rarely get out without some loud crash or bump or screech. But get out I do.
And when I do, the sun is working on the back side of Camel’s Hump and the sky glows and the low clouds are tinged with pink and the world is just beautiful. It is hard not to enjoy it when the day starts off with its show. Cloudy, rainy, clear, snowing, whatever, it is always beautiful. If you can’t see it you need glasses or something. Or you live in a place where you can’t see the world around you. Because the world is just plain old stunning as the sun rises and the wind shakes the dew from the turning leaves and the spider webs grace the goldenrod. I may be tired but it is so worth it.
Tomorrow morning I will try to rise again, even earlier. The farther I want to go the earlier I need to rise. So once I really get to the high mileage I need to get up way early. But I’m just doing the shorties now–one to five miles–just to get out there and feel the morning and to get moving. Sure, I’ll train for something sooner or later, and sure, I’ll run later in the day at times, but I need to remember, when I am bleary eyed and tuckered, that the early morning will give me a shot better than any espresso.
My shoes get wet as I walk across the dew-covered grass. A late bat swoops over the field. The asters quake in the breeze. And the smell of fallen leaves mingles with a far off skunk and damp earth. It makes one appreciate being alive.