When I lived in Chicago, 5:30am was all at once the bane of my existence and the jolt I needed to kick-start my day.
5:30am would start loud and proud with the shrill jingle of my alarm. I woke bleary eyed and grumbling, annoyed with the prospect of, well, 5:30am.
I’d scramble out of bed, throw on some ratty old running clothes, lace up my shoes, key up my iPod and wander out the front door, working through an encyclopedia of routes in my head before settling on the Lakefront Path heading north.
On my run, which generally lasted about 60 minutes, I’d work through all the world’s problems, settle whatever dispute was bothering me at that moment (usually that dispute concerned the a**hole cabbie that almost ran me over at the intersection of Fullerton and Lake Shore), fought off the stench of the smelly homeless man who lived under the Belmont overpass and watched The Sun rise in all her glory over the grand expanse of Lake Michigan, painting the groggy city in ombre hues of pink and orange.
By the time I got to work at 8:30, I was already three hours into my morning and noshing on a well-deserved donut from the Dunkin Donuts that held court on the second floor of The Mart.
These days, I am at work every morning between 6:45 and 7:00am, so my early morning jogs along the lake have evolved into 4:00pm jaunts along winding mountain paths. I still solve all the most complex problems of the world, relive wrong-doings from the day in an effort to “win” and enjoy cake and ice cream for dessert nearly every evening (no Dunkin nearby :( ), but instead of dodging rabid raccoons as they jump out at you from their dark, smelly garbage-can caves, I dodge tourists making unexpected turns with their skis on their shoulders. And instead of watching the sun rise over the greatest city in the world, I breathe in the beauty of the late afternoon sun as She highlights the Rockies in a jewel-toned veneer.
In unrelated news, my favorite guest arrived today for his second stay of the year. I had completely forgotten that he was arriving today and when I walked into the lobby, feeling prickly after an unnecessarily long conference call, I was thrilled to hear his booming voice shout a happy greeting before pulling me into a bear-hug. It’s gonna be a good weekend.
Dusk at the Beaver Ponds, Keystone, CO