Press "Enter" to skip to content

A moment out of time

I haven’t written much about being ‘Netless (one month, five days, and seven hours as I write this, but who’s counting?) because after the first few days of adjustment, it hasn’t had that much impact.

Sometimes it’s devilishly inconvenient. When I desperately — I assure you, desperately — needed to know all the Hogwarts house colors, heads, and ghosts, I had to wait all the way until the next morning to look them up, oh alas alack.

Other than that and slower correspondence, the impact has been small and mostly positive.

My favorite thing about this ‘Netless interval is having a “moment out of time” several mornings a week.

Early morning has always been my favorite time. The best begins when it’s light enough to see, but everything is still in gray. Then gradually, as if it had all the time in the world, color seeps into the landscape.

This morning the first color arrived in the crimson blossoms of a camillia bush outside one of the sunroom’s windows, and shortly after that, the bush’s yellow-green leaves emerged from the general neutrality. Only later did color begin to seep into the house, and then only near the windows.

Soon, the grass turns green, the looming evergreens, previously only flat shadows, emerge in detail, and the muted gold of the neighbor’s house is revealed. But the colors are faded, like an ancient tapestry.

They’re different every morning. Some days everything is suffused with pink or orange dawnlight, which tones down the greens while coloring the bare white branches of the alders. Other days (like today when it’s overcast and there is no glowing dawn), the greens dominate the landscape. Eventually stronger light touches the tops of the trees; even on a day like this the sun breaks through and they light up, shining above the little valley on whose edge my house sits.

This time always reminds me of being on vacation as a child, creeping out of a tent or onto Grandma’s porch before anybody else was stirring. It reminds me of weekend getaways when I was a too-busy 20-something. I used to drive up to the Sea Ranch on the wild Sonoma coast and rent the same little modern gem of a house. I’d sit there in the silence, watching morning arrive over the ocean from the house’s loft bedroom. The owners were aviation enthusiasts and the oversize model airplanes suspended from the ceiling were always the first thing in the interior to take on hints of color.

Tiny breaks in an otherwise chaotic life.

With ‘Net, I usually have my face stuck in a computer every morning, answering email, writing blog posts, or scanning the latest bad news. I miss the whole glorious “moment out of time” event. Now, with the laptop tucked away in a drawer, I sip my tea and enjoy a sabbatical hour before getting to the day’s work.


  1. Fred
    Fred March 24, 2016 2:00 pm

    That which describe and sitting around a fire in the evening swapping tales of the day is how we are supposed to live.

  2. Michael C.
    Michael C. March 24, 2016 4:17 pm


    Thank you for sharing.

  3. LarryA
    LarryA March 24, 2016 6:38 pm

    I think I just found a clue as to what people are doing who aren’t out campaigning for candidates:

    I mean I knew my classes have been big, but…

    Whenever you have nothing to do, do nothing well.

  4. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal March 25, 2016 8:55 am

    “Early morning”: Before 10am- 11am during the adjustment period after switching to Summer Incorrect Time.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp March 28, 2016 5:47 am

    I’ve been a late riser the last few months — seldom out of bed before 6am or so. But when I get in the habit, I love to get up around 5am and take the dog for a walk. Part of the year this means walking in the dark, which has its own beautiful distractions. But I love it when I can get out during that “moment out of time” you describe so well.

Leave a Reply