Zero dark thirty

The bliss of solitude three hours before sunrise.

I wake up at 3:25 a.m. I don’t often reveal this fact. Most people just don’t get it. Explaining doesn’t help.

I get up early for two reasons. First, I recharge when I am alone. While some are rejuvenated by human interaction, I find it particularly draining. My workday is, for the most part, a continuous series of interpersonal contacts. Once the workday ends, I immediately transition to the role of husband and father. Joce has the kids all day; helping her means taking over kid duty. More human contact. It is important to me to be an engaged father, and the last bit of emotional energy I have for the day is spent by the time they are tucked in by seven. Eight-thirty, I’m ready for sleep. Misanthrope? No. I just love the quiet.

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100 Days of Meditation

The mind is a beast that must be tamed.

The hum of the tires forms the score to the predawn scene. A gray specter of trees passes by to the left; a brown blanket covers open prairie to the right. The stars fade as the sky wakes from deep blue to turquoise. The roof and doors are off and the temperature is perfect. I am at ease.

Slowing, I turn left into a break in the trees. There is a small parking area, perhaps just big enough for two cars. I’m in a favorite weekend outfit – fleece over a long-sleeve t-shirt, shorts and hiking boots. A trail leads South and I begin to follow.

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