Nineteen glorious hours of daylight

I haven’t been blogging much. Or on Facebook much. Or tweeting much, either.

Because, you know: Nineteen hours of daylight. It makes a person giddy. It makes a person hyper. It makes a person do things like walk the beach at midnight and run speed intervals at 10 p.m. and sit out on the steps and read a book at 3 a.m.

This time of the year I get hit by insomnia, big-time. It falls down over me like a cursed blessing. A blessing because the less I sleep, the more outdoor time I can rack up. A curse because when I don’t sleep enough, I’m too tired to completely enjoy all of the outdoor time I’ve racked up.

A paradox, no? But I’ll take it. Happily.

Because, you see, 19 friggin’ hours of daylight. (Writing that, I hear a chorus of angels singing “Hallelujah,” and not the Leonard Cohen version, either.)

The following two photos were taken just after 11 p.m. See how light it still is? Can  you understand now why I can’t sleep, why my partner and I often find ourselves running trails at 10 p.m. and walking the dog after midnight? Because the days are so long, and so beautiful, and the silver twilight is so magical that we can’t possibly stay away.

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Last night we ran along the coast with the tide crashing against the shore. We finished at around 10 p.m. and it was perfectly light, the sun still high in the sky. The night before that, we walked the dog around midnight and saw two moose. I didn’t have a phone or camera with me, so no moose pics, but the first one was stubborn and refused to move off the trail. We finally had to veer off and detour through the woods where we saw, guess what, another moose and had to veer off again. By the time we got back to the car we were covered in mosquito bites, hee, hee.

A few nights before that, while walking the dog around midnight, we saw a cow moose and two baby calves. We stopped, transfixed. The calves were only a few days old and frolicked around the neighbor’s yard. We held tight to the dog’s collar because she wanted nothing more than to join them and run and play across that wide green lawn. Heck, we wanted nothing more to do the same, to run with baby moose calves and roll in damp grass and smell the ground with our feeble human noses.

Of course, we didn’t do this. We kept our distance. Moose are temperamental, and mother moose are very, very protective.

An almost grown “baby” moose in our yard last autumn

Last week, two women were kicked by a charging cow moose. They were walking the trails out at Kincaid Park (where I often run), and the moose charged up behind them, knocked them to the ground and kicked the heck out of them. They’re both okay now but received some serious damage: broken ribs, injured lung and arm, lots of bruises. You can read more about it our local newspaper here.

So yeah, it’s been quite the summer so far. Between work and running and hiking and dog walking and beach visits and swimming, I haven’t been writing much. Except for poetry. I seem to be on a poetry kick. But essays, stories and novel work? It ain’t happening. And I’m trying to not obsess about it (though of course I am). When I worry about how I can’t seem to motivate myself to work on my next novel, that maybe I’m washed up as a writer, that maybe all of my ideas are gone and there’s nothing new and worthwhile inside my head, I tie on my running shoes and hit the trails for 12 or 14 or 16 good miles. Trail running is kind of my religion. It makes me feel, and I know this will sound stupid and New Agey, but it makes me feel centered and beautiful.

Still, I wish I could feel centered and beautiful and still produce a few damned pages of my novel. Why the hell can’t I have that much? Am I blocking my own writing? Is it something in the air? Something I’m thinking or rehashing from the past? Or, and this is what scares the hell out of me, causes me to sit in the living room and stare out at the birch leaves so late at night that it’s actually early morning: What I can’t write any longer, what if nothing more slips out of my obstinate head? What the hell do I do then? Go to culinary school? Go back to being a journalist? Open a doggy daycare?

Jesus, I’m depressing myself. I think it’s time for more pics.

Black Bear Trail, where I saw two plumb piles of bear scat yesterday.
See that big tree stump? I always, always mistake that for a bear from a distance, and it always scares the crap out of me, lol.

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Have a great week, everyone.

8 thoughts on “Nineteen glorious hours of daylight

  1. Wow, 19 hours. I couldn’t sleep either – but that’s cuz I need blackness to sleep. We went to Russia once and it didn’t get dark until after midnight and I had the hardest time sleeping. Neat to be able to take the dog out that late and still have it be light.

    I haven’t worked on a new novel in ages. Just not feeling it. Not really worried about it. So many things about the “biz” side of writing that I don’t really enjoy. So, we’ll see if I start again. I hope you get your groove back – if that’s what you want!


    1. So, so true! The winter is for hibernating and slumping in front of the TV and binge watching Netflix and eating pretzels and popcorn and then writing all night because why worry about bedtime when it’s dark practically all of the time. Cheers, my dear.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up in Scotland, where the summer daylight is MUCH longer than it is here in Switzerland. I miss that… On the other hand, it’s a whole lot hotter here in summer, and that’s nice too!


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