The sunrise is really beautiful again this morning. For the past year or more I've been quite the night owl, but over the past few months I've been waking just before dawn, and enjoying the sunrises.
The sky is really, really gorgeous just as the first tinges of orange line the horizon.
Right now I'm sitting near an east-facing window with my laptop and a mug of hot chai... now that I'm at home more I'm experimenting with a few types of chai trying to find one with comforting/addictive properties similar to the sort I used to buy at Broad Cafe every few mornings or so.
I've gradually been importing all of my music CDs into iTunes, and from there to my iPod, so my laptop is currently shuffling through my Battlefield Band
I adore the Battlefield Band. I have ever since I heard one of their appearances on A Prairie Home Companion
when I was in middle school, listening to it on WFYI
with my parents. They played a handful of strathspeys and reels and had folks practically dancing in the aisles, and played some mournful ballads, and their sensibilities blended so well with Garrison Keillor's own particular brand of humor... each of the musicians introduced himself, and explained what musical instruments they played... traditional Scottish tin whistles, traditional Scottish drums like the bodhran, traditional Scottish bagpipes, traditional Scottish synthesizers... made from traditional Scottish plastic...
And then they announced that they were going to play a surfing song from the Outer Hebrides.
There was a dramatic pause.
Then, they launched into Bad Moon Rising, on the fiddle and the bagpipes.
I adore it. Dad had made a cassette tape of the broadcast, and I made a copy... I listened to it so much I wore the cassette out. And I made another copy.
I still have it here in my two tubs of cassette tapes. But I also have a large number of their CDs, including On The Rise
(Amazon will let you listen to a snippet here
if you have Windows Media Player), which has Bad Moon Rising on it, along with After Hours, another of my favorites. Their music is also available direct from Temple Records
' online web storefront
, which has a bigger selection of their CDs than Amazon, as well as a number of free MP3 downloads.
I've yet to find a Battlefield Band song I dislike. Some are very mellow, others are dancably peppy, others are melancholy to the point where if I'm having a really down day I don't want to listen to them or they'll worsen my mood, but I love them all.
I only wish more of the recordings of their music had Alan Reid's introductions to the songs. He has the most amazing sense of humor...
A dear friend of mine went to extraordinary effort to remind me to attend their recent performance at Beckman Auditorium on November 5th. I'm so grateful, because the joy I found within myself during the performance has rattled around in my head and... I don't know... maybe the echoes are reverberating in my soul. Or something like that.
By the way, the Battlefield Band's website says that they're going to be appearing on A Prairie Home Companion again on November 26th. :-)
Lately I've been... I don't know what the right word is... transforming, awakening, reawakening... and reconnecting with what brings me real joy. Some little things, some big things, some nostalgic things which have been present in my life before and now are returning in a new form, some things which in the past I've known I wanted but for various perfectly reasonable reasons set those insights and desires aside temporarily, and some new things which somehow feel like I'm returning home when I find them.
In some climates, autumn is a time of harvest and endings, of the world going dormant and resting as the temperature drops and the soil rests. The plants and animals conserve their energy for the rough, dark months ahead, or hibernate through the winter. I know those lessons. But here in southern California, in the urban jungle of Los Angeles, the bulbs I've planted in the pots on my porch are just sending up new shoots, and the fiery colors of the gum tree leaves are falling onto the brightening green of new grass.
I've said this before elsewhere, but something about this place, this climate, makes it difficult to note time passing. If the turn of the seasons is as subtle as it is here, and the bright sunshine and seventy-two degree days come one after the other after the other, people's time-sense can become so skewed. Some things from a decade ago feel as though they happened yesterday, and it is so easy to put off large goals until tomorrow because yesterday was so like today.
But watching the stars and planets overhead during the dark nights, far above the twinkling of the city lights and the neverending flow of the freeways... watching the sunrise as day after day the sun springs over the horizon in a slightly different spot, watching the plants and listening to the change in the wind... time speaks differently here, but it is speaking, just as it speaks everywhere.
I'm also starting to experiment with podcasts... one of my favorites is another gem I first found on National Public Radio
is a short astronomy update. You can now listen to it online or as a podcast, or you can read it daily via an RSS feed (here on LiveJournal it's available via stardateorg
Somehow I'm fitting my song of new beginnings, farewell to endings, and insights into myself and the world into this sunny autumn. The horizon's orange edge has brightened to bright pale blue, and the sun rises, accompanied by fiddles and bagpipes.