Shorter Days and Longer Nights

Little does this sunflower know that the Grim Reaper lurks.

Little does this sunflower know that the Grim Reaper lurks.

Despite a most lovely Indian Summer crowned with blue skies and golden grasses, I anticipate the coming cold. I know that my foreshortening a mild and mellow autumn is preemptive, but already I feel myself drawing down.

As the Autumn Equinox creeps closer, I feel a non-existent chill on the back of my neck. As the daylight hours wane, I find myself looking over my shoulder. When will we have our first frost? When will we have our first snow? Will a wolf (always a slathering wolf with yellow teeth) follow me home?

Not that it is chilly yet, but already I’m seeking warmth. Hunching my shoulders and wrapping my arms around my mid-section, I keep the thought of winter’s chill at-bay. You would think I was hunkering down for lack of artificial light and going to bed when day was done.

Going... going

Going… going

After a lengthy wet spring that kept Colorado under wraps, summer has seemed exceedingly short. Yes, the operative word is “seemed.” The warm weather days were likely of standard duration, but I was too busy to revel in the season. I definitely did not spend enough time reclining in a deck chair,  soaking up the sun, and listening to the bees hum a happy tune. Busyness will be the un-doing of me.

You would think that in my maturity, I would have learned to prioritize. To live in the moment. To savor the season. But no.



I live Rock Star fast. Every day is chock full. If that is not bad enough, I live in the future. I have a bad habit of reading the obituaries. Some years ago, four obituaries made The Wet Mountain Tribune the same week. And every single person was younger than I was at the time! The writing was on the wall!


There is nothing like writing a memoir to make you come face-to-face with yourself. I don’t know that what I’m doing is writing a memoir, but I am collating poems, plays, short stories, journal entries, blogs and Tribune “Time Out” columns that I have written over the years. I have a ton of material. I’m not sure what I will do with it once I have everything in one file, but the process has held up the mirror.

Rereading old material and moving scattered, isolated pieces to one site has been a revelation. Writing years ago… about things that I thought I knew… now reveal that I was misguided and knew nothing. When I started this project, I thought that I wanted to share who I was with my children and grandchildren. Now that I am thoroughly engaged, I see that my trolling through the water, pond scum and duckweed will introduce me to myself.



About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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7 Responses to Shorter Days and Longer Nights

  1. Bbruser says:

    I love this piece. So good Doris. Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Maria Weber says:

    I loved this blog, Doris! I’m sure many others will agree that we feel the same way. I was at Home Depot on Wednesday in Denver. They had a huge Halloween display with life-sized Grim Reapers, 3-foot high skulls, witches galore, skeletons in boxes, and it didn’t thrill me as in days of yore. The Clark’s Nutcracker birds caw with a gravelly voice heralding the onslaught of fall, which heralds winter. I bought Christmas stickers at Hobby Lobby and I’m not ready for any of it!! Maria

    • timeout2 says:

      The on-the-street feedback has been good, Maria. It is comforting to know we are not alone. Was pleased to see one of my poems in September’s Colorado Central. Why do we only submit when someone urges us to do so? Looking forward to the Buena Vista workshop on Monday. See you there. Doris

  3. bar scott says:

    so right! This is the beauty and pain of memoir. I love you, Doris.

    • timeout2 says:

      Thank you for holding my hand and asking all the right questions. How I value your insight and perceptiveness. To say nothing of your honesty. And that is just the beginning of your strengths. xo

  4. Jennie Ensor says:

    This touched me Doris – though not quite your age yet, it struck a chord with me. At this time of year I skulk around seeking out the most tenuous patches of sun, praying for one more day of hot sunshine (well, lukewarm would be fine), wondering why I spent so much time indoors on the computer 🙂

    • timeout2 says:

      Dear Jennie, I love the phrase “sulk around,” not that we actually sulk, but we are penitent – knowing that the seasons cycle, but praying for just one more one more day of sunshine. We lower our heads in hope of a blessing. And of course, you are right – when summer was here, we spent way too much time indoors or if we were outdoors, we were doing chores when we should have been lying in the grass, not mowing it.

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