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Seasonal Schedules
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In winter I get up at night,
And dress by yellow candlelight;
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses

I've always loved the economy of poetry and prose, wherein the author will reference a whole essay on equinoxes and hours of daylight and systems of illumination and human patterns of behavior, all in a few short lines of poetry or a single compact paragraph. I find a cerebral kind of pleasure in teasing out the whole set of informational data, bit by bit, and turning it over in my mind for amusement and edification.

Would that I could write so well. I was thinking today of how my own patterns of living shift as the seasons pass. In winter, I sleep late (until 7 o'clock) and then while away another hour or two on the computer with my trusty cup of coffee to hand and my loving foot warmer dog draped across my feet.

In summer, quite the other way, I'm up before the start of day.

In summer (July, August and September are the hottest months), I get up at 5 a.m. and bustle about, half asleep to be sure, doing laundry (and other cleaning chores) and pulling weeds and going grocery shopping, so that I can be back indoors attending to tasks less demanding of physical movement and therefore less heat-generating. A mid-afternoon nap, caressed by the breezes of the air conditioner and the fan, takes care of the sleep deprivation.

This is the weekend I'm talking about, of course. Five days a week, 51 weeks a year (week off between Christmas and New Year's Day), I'm up at 5 a.m. to get ready for work. Don't use the word "awake" because I'm not awake untill I've had my first cup of coffee--or my first driving emergency, whichever comes first. In Los Angeles, you never know what weirdness will hit the streets.

So today I'm up and doing the early morning bustle. The cats think it very strange, as they come in from their nocturnal perambulations, ready for daily somnolence, that I should be revving up for action, instead of napping with them.

Winter winds, when wilt thou blow? (apologies to Will)

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