The Early Colorado Light

6:00 a.m. view from the Brookie Cabin deck

When the early morning light quietly grows above the mountains . . . .

The word’s darkening never reaches to the light of Being.

Martin Heidegger, “The Thinker as Poet”

I rose at 6 a.m. to a 46-degree Colorado morning, and stepped outside to drink in the magnificent morning mountain light. Heidegger’s words whispered to me in the silent air, and I once again offered thanks to be alive, to be granted the gift of drinking in this vista. Mornings like this are what I’ve reached for since my years as a college student. Whether we call it Quiet Time, Executive Time, or anything else, I am grateful for mornings with quiet and space where I can just breathe, reflect, read, write–do all the things I love to do in the Quiet. Every morning of this six-day mountain stay has given me this gift, and I’m thankful that another six days still await.

In recent years, I have read of Heidegger’s cabin built in the Black Forest in 1922 where he enjoyed his own quiet, and wrote all of his significant works. And I understand fully his preference for the mountains in the small village of Todtnauberg than the university in the city of Freiburg. I myself have enjoyed the relative quiet of places like the east Texas store where I’m granted a stay whenever I can get away, and of course, my annual journey to southern Colorado to enjoy the Rio Grande National Forest. And though Palestine, Texas is considered a city with a population of 18,000, I find the Redlands Hotel and our ground-floor gallery much quieter and soothing than the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Above all, I am thankful for this full retirement at last.

This is my first Colorado vacation where I no longer have a syllabus pending or an inservice waiting. For the first time, I am not sitting here with that gnawing annoyance of a school schedule lurking on the calendar. Before retiring from high school teaching, I was concerned that my lifestyle of scholarship would end. It didn’t, but I wondered if that was because I was still teaching part-time at the college. Now, I know that my scholarship is not grounded in a teaching schedule. During this Colorado vacation, I have found time to study in Latin, and for the first time in my life, I’ve actually been writing sentences in Greek in my journal scribblings. My companions have been William Carlos Williams, Annie Dillard, Norman Maclean, and of course Martin Heidegger over these past six days. So apparently, my lifestyle of study has not diminished, and for that I am grateful as well; I actually have MORE quality time for these pursuits.

Having finished my morning coffee, I am ready now to resume my watercolor experiment with aspen trees as my subject. And Paddington has suddenly decided that I need help with this blog. I’m not finding it easy tapping these laptop keys with him in my lap.

Paddington, always making everything his business. He needs a job.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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