I woke up at 4am this morning, parched and headachy, no doubt feeling a bit of the effects of a rather warm night. I got up, drank a lot of water, and tried going back to bed, but it didn’t really stick. My mind was starting to churn, and when it starts to churn in the morning, there’s no way it will pause long enough to get in a couple more hours of sleep.

The moment I woke up I heard the gate right outside our window slamming shut. Who else is up at 4am, and indeed going somewhere? Sadly, my thoughts turned immediately to more nefarious suggestions. It’s the bike thieves.

Fuller has regular bike thefts, sometimes rather brazen (like stealing a bike off a 2nd story balcony), often opportunistic. After getting my water, I got up to look outside. Saw another shadowy figure (literally even if not metaphorically), leaving the same front gate, letting it slam behind him, and getting into a gray pickup truck that was parked across the street. I didn’t see any bikes, but I’m still suspicious.

I hate being suspicious. I like believing in people, thinking the best of them, making genuine contact with their hopes and dreams and contributions. I sometimes joke that I don’t like people, but the reality is I really do. I don’t like the posing, the postures, the machinations, the deceit, deceptions or frenzy addled expressions, but I do like people.

I like making eye contact and exchanging brief pleasantries with strangers when we walk by each other on the sidewalk, or waiting in line in the store.

That doesn’t happen here in Pasadena. I’m suspicious even of pleasantries now because they’re more often than not coupled with a quest for cash. And I’ve learned that my attempts to be pleasant is itself a cause for suspicion. So no eye contact, little interaction, we are insisted to exist as independent cogs operating in our own closed system within a shared space.

I don’t like. But this isn’t a forum for my complaints. Where is the thanksgiving?

There is a cool breeze this early morning, a welcomed appetizer to what will be, according to forecasts, the beginning of a scorching week. When I woke up at 4, the birds were not yet awake, but the crickets were, chirping loud and chirping fast. Now the birds are testing out the morning, a few songs here and there rise above the white noise of fans nearby and traffic from the freeway a little less nearby. A mourning dove visited the feeder just now, only for a moment. And out here on the balcony the faint, alluring aroma of Hawaiian Tropic sun tan lotion occasionally catches my attention. A closed bottle sits on a shelf nearby. One of my favorite scents, I think. That along with the smell of summer soil awakened by an evening rain, Jessica McClintock perfume, and the first fresh cut grass after a long winter. That last one I haven’t really enjoyed since my time in the midwest.

I look up and see a dead bug trapped on a single spiderweb strand. No spider to be seen. Bad luck for the bug. I know that feeling.

Not now though. Now I feel a bit of light wakening in my soul. Trying to focus, trying to regain and hold onto hope, trying to press forward into the many vital tasks that this week, month and quarter have for me. When I woke up I didn’t let the suspicion or the heat take me down for the day. I opened up my works of John Wesley and read another one of his sermons on the Sermon on the Mount. A bit flowery for today’s style, but inspiring and more so properly perspective renewing even still. I think I’d like to blog about Wesley’s sermons as I read through them. But who cares about that? Ah, now there’s a question that never has been helpful to any of my pursuits.

I need to turn back to hope and to the pursuit of writing for its own sake, letting my pondering find a reconstituted freedom once again. I feel it a bit right now, even in writing this.

Which is something for this moment. So, I’ll celebrate this slight turn towards hope and light.

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