I’m definitely not a morning person. I stumble around for twenty minutes or so before I’m even partially awake. I can count the sunrises I’ve observed on one hand, in addition to the sunrises I intended to observe, but slept through.
I’m really not a night owl, either. Past a certain hour, I’m useless. And very few are the activities I prize more than sleeping.
But some cherished memories — of formative friends — live in the darkness. On sleepovers in junior high, my best friend Carolyn and I would lay awake and whisper and laugh until tears rolled down our cheeks. In high school I snuck out of the house to meet another kindred spirit, my neighbor Dave. We’d talk and talk, and walk up and down the street just for the hell of it, Orion high in the sky.
I’ve hosted long summer-night gatherings on a certain deck in Plymouth, Vermont — head tipped back, feet propped, stars blazing. And I’ve hosted epic, roaring New Years Eve parties. (After one really robust bash, I woke up, looked out the window, and wondered whose boxers were in the snow.)
Maybe those prized nighttime occasions inspired me to create, in All Come Home, two thirty-something friends (bound by a certain tragedy, and a shared determination to overcome it) who are sort of reluctant night owls, like me. There’s Zell, widowed insomniac, who leashes up her elderly greyhound at three a.m. and lets him lead her around town. And there’s EJ The Muffin Man, who drives to his Main Street bakery in the bruised dawn. Zell and EJ aren’t true night people. But by default, they become fond of darkness, comfortable in it.
Anyway, I wonder if I’m mostly a dusk person. I love that transitional feeling as the sun sets and the moon rises, that changing of the guard. The shifting light, the sky colors and ground colors as they morph from glowing to shadows. During dusk there’s a balance to be admired, an accord, a transformative yin and yang all around, and a harmonious, subtle power.
Anyone else dialed in during dusk? What’s the most memorable sunset you’ve seen?