Sunday, February 24, 2013

night owl

We hear her almost every night. I think her song comes from the west of the house. Ed thinks she's to the east. We've never seen our night owl.

Lately, much of Ed's restless night time has been given over to an engineering project he has been working on. He'll head over to the sheep shed when I can't keep my eyes open anymore. Almost always I wake to hear him come in a few hours later. And so it was last night -- at around 1, he comes into the room, happy to tell me about the moon. You were right -- it's almost as bright as daylight out there. (I'd been telling him how beautiful it is when a full moon -- or, in this case a one day short of a full moon -- comes out over snowy white fields... today, we have out there this rare and perfect winter night.)

I can't resist stepping out. Just a coat thrown over my shoulders -- it isn't really cold outside. Twenty degrees maybe. It's not easy to take photos, especially without a tripod and yet I have to try. Here's one. The moon's to the right, up high. The shadows are long. The air is still.

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A handful of hours later it is the cat's turn to be restless. As he moves from one side of the bed to the other, I take a look out the window. 6:30. The sun is about to come up over the horizon.

It's been a while since I've gone out for a sunrise. Too cold to do my usual -- hop on Rosie and scoot toward the lake. But not too cold to get into the donkey car and spin it in that direction. Past one of my favorite fields here -- always serene, always breathtaking, even in predawn light.

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And then toward Lake Waubesa. I stand for a long while looking out at the frozen waters. I am not the only one up and about: a few solitary fishermen are setting up their station. I watch them move slowly from one point to another. The sky is turning lighter and finally the sun breaks through.

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It's funny how quickly the sun moves once it's up and climbing (so to speak). By the time I turn the donkey car in the direction of home, the fields have stripes of gold and the forest has taken on the deepest orange colors. This is almost always a good time to mingle with the deer herds and sure enough, I come across this stately animal, just before she takes one of those famous high leaps and disappears from sight.

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And so breakfast comes rather late in this Sunday story that is more about the night than the day that follows.

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Not that the day is inconsequential -- no, not at all. Yoga. That. With my yoga buddy. And then, because it is so springlike outside (mid thirties and sunny!), I coax Ed into one more spin on skis. No snow pants for me. Not even a cap. Just the sublime feeling of air and sun, announcing the season ahead  of us, letting go of the one we're all so tired of.

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And as long as we're so close to spring, we make a quick trip to Farm & Fleet. Ed needs a saw blade, we need a furnace filter and in addition, for once Ed is willing to do clothes shopping. In his usual way, he picks up (with just a few guiding hints from me) all that he claims he needs for the next year. Or more. The bill, including the blade and the filter: $96.

Evening now. My daughter is here. We're eating a supper of shrimp and beans, watching the Oscars.

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If I'm lucky, I'll stay awake for the entire presentation. That rarely happens, but I'm feeling rather night owlish lately.