Walking. In Sacred Time.

5:15 a.m. Woozy from sleep meds.

Trudge to bathroom. Empty tank. Strip down for morning weigh-in.  Pause. Step over to toilet. Spit. I silently thank Anneli (again) for her tip, every ounce counts. Weigh-in outcome? Flat to yesterday. Could be worse.

Forecast, 19° F. But hold on. With wind chill: 4° F, wind gusts up to 39 mph. Oooooooh.

Body yearns for the warmth of the comforter and the bed. Sean Patrick Mulroy: “Here is what I love about the brain: How it remembers. How it sews what soft it can into a blanket for the nights when I am cold...”

301 consecutive days. Like in a row. Cove Island Park morning walk @ daybreak. Gotta keep the streak alive.

I suit up.  In this order. Underwear. White cotton t-shirt. Wool socks. Another pair of wool socks over top. Gym shorts over underwear. Fleece lined sweatpants over gym shorts. Fleece lined snow pants over the fleece lined sweatpants. Turtleneck over t-shirt. Sweatshirt with hoodie over Turtleneck.  Goose down jacket.  Another goose down jacket over top of the first. Tuk pulled tight over the ears. (Pronounced Tuuuuuuuk.) Hoodie overtop of the tuk.  Hiking boots. Thinsulate gloves (to work the camera dials).  Done! Ready!  I pause to catch my breath, I’m overheating. Wow. I’m coming unglued here. This is Darien, CT for God sakes. Not the Vostok Research Station in Antarctica.

I step out the door. Come on. Hit me. Give me your best shot.

It couldn’t have been five  seconds, a gust of wind blows, and finds exposed skin. Holy Crap. Goosebumps stack up on goosebumps. 

I’m alone at the Park. Gulls, geese and me.

I walk.

First vaccination shot scheduled for April 2nd.  Second behind that. Melancholy swoops in. These morning walks may be over soon. Back to I-95, and the commutes.

The breakwall shelters me from the wind. Water shimmers. Waning Gibbous Moon up top. Sun preparing to rise, illuminating the horizon.

I’m going to miss This.

Elizabeth Hand: “When you step into sacred time, you’re actually moving sideways into a different space that’s inside the normal world. It’s folded in. Do you see?

I see Elizabeth. Oh, I see.

The melancholy is interrupted by Lady, a morning walker, with two cocker spaniels. She walks with a poker straight back. Pom pom on her hat floats, but otherwise, she’s ramrod straight.  I watch her, awed by the performance.  Her Dogs darting in and out of the trees.  Long ears flapping in the frigid wind.

I need a Dog.



  1. I love dogs…what a delicious sky David ~ smiles hedy ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Early morning light … Sean Patrick Mulroy: “Here is what I love about the brain: How it remembers. How it sews what soft it can into a blanket for the nights when I am cold …”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Last sentence. YES…. you do. And so do I!
    Your dress-up celebration: I honestly lost my will to live at approx. Fleece lined snow pants over the fleece lined sweatpants. – Why would ANYBODY do that witout a death threat? You lost me there, pal.
    But I often thought: He will THOROUGHLY miss his walks once all this is over. And you’d miss it even more if you had allowed yourself to start the whole procedure maybe an hour later, or 30′ …. so that’s good, no?
    Great post. Ta!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah Yes. Another one. Ladies (you, Lori, and sure more coming) ganging up on me and my winter protection gear as they sit in 72° toasty, furnace controlled environment. Never even inching out the door to face the arctic tundra. Ha! So cheeky of you too!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Think I actually may have spewed a little coffee when I read this: “This is Darien, CT for God sakes. Not the Vostok Research Station in Antarctica.” Was thinking, ‘Good grief, DK, it’s a morning hike around the local lake, not an Arctic expedition’ and bam, you beat me to the punch. Then felt my heart sink when you mentioned returning to the daily grind. How I hate for you to lose this routine, pal. And YES,YES, YES, get a dog!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes you certainly do 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure if you’re just a slow walker into the light or just stubborn but… finally. 301 mornings – Like in a row – and you have seen the light! And the light is… YES!!! A dog!!!! (insert ‘happy dance’ here)

    Though… beware. Somedays, the dog makes the suiting up and ‘mornings in a row’ less choice more chore. 🙂

    But, having done like a gazillion mornings in a row, I wouldn’t change one simple fact. Having a dog is the best morning wake-up call ever! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. And further to “every ounce counts,” if you’re going to weigh yourself, spit into the sink for another tiny bit of weight loss. You know those digital scales are not exactly accurate and they are set to jump up to the next pound at a certain trigger point. Spitting might just put it under that trigger setting and show one pound less. So always spit before weighing yourself.


  8. I lost my comment that I just wrote. Didn’t want you to think I ignored your post, but also don’t want to repeat myself. Maybe I need a second cup of coffee,


  9. What a gorgeous morning photo! maybe that sight was “worth” it…but I think of the air you get to inhale out there. Then, love reading about your procedural ritual–what a great wardrobe! And snort-laughed also about “This is Darien, CT for God sakes. Not the Vostok Research Station in Antarctica.” Love being WITH you wherever you travel–amazed how you invite us in with such immediacy–that’s good writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, you do need a dog – though s/he would certainly interrupt your photography for a bit. We are the custodians of our time here – how do we cherish all time as sacred time?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Good gawd, Man… I’m killing myself laughing at your dress. Sorry but you have lost your Canadian – oh wait, never mind… You’re from BC, it explains your lack of, um… well your need for so much. You’d die to know I wear a long-sleeved t-shirt (but only from -20C and lower, above that, a simple t-shirt) under my coat. Leggings under my snow pants (again, only from -20C – oh wait… lemme Americanize that for ya -4F and lower). A tuque (what the hell is Tuk?), scarf, thick ski mittens (with the thinsulate gloves in my pocket for taking pics) and of course, thick socks – one pair – with my boots – which ones depending on cold…

    Now, all that to say, is there no way you will be able to continue to incorporate a walk to start your day before your commute into town in the future? Even if you have to cut it in half, it would still start you off on the right foot, no? I hope so. You have found a new creative way to express yourself that you are fantastic at and have created a nice healthy habit, to boot!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Christie says:

    Well, I had a different thought – your dressing scenario reminded me of my sister in law in North Dakota (frigid winters)…when her children were little she would have to dress them in many layers and then the snow suit (think of the stiff younger brother in ‘A Christmas Story’ who could barley walk & his arms stuck straight out) of course occasionally after getting them suited up the call of nature was voiced! i thought for sure you were going to have to un-robe and run to the bathroom. Like some of the others Spring has arrived early! Even though the car a a sheet of ice on it it will be just over 60 today…daffodils are opening up, forsythia plumping up with yellow brightness,white plum trees are in bloom and the furry catkins of the Aspen tree have popped out! Hoping no more inclement weather (latest snow here that i recall was April 19th it didn’t stick of course!) /// Why Vostok Research Station in Antarctica & not https://www.nsf.gov/geo/opp/support/mcmurdo.jsp /// https://www.nasa.gov/analogs/nsf/mcmurdo-station ? /// As always your writing amazing 🙂 ps; i hope you only have to go back to the city twice a week maybe your employer likes telea -commute?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dogs are magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I concur with the others here, David, too funny! So what takes longer, getting dressed or the walk? Either you were a good boy scout, or would have been a good one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m sure you didn’t dress like this when you were going outside to play hockey for hours as a kid… 🙂

    if you had a choice, would you prefer to continue to work from home?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. you are surely doing all you can to make sure nothing bad happens – less saliva, lest you way a portion of an ounce more, sub-arctic outdoor gear, lest you feel a hint of chill –

    I would like you to come and hang out at recess with me and my kinder for a couple of days, they are hard core outdoors people. who cares if you lose one mitten, when you’re having fun? who cares if you get wet/muddy/snow in your pants when you’re loving the snow and ice and water and mud? who wants to stop and take a nap, when there’s more time to enjoy outside? they don’t mess around)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Christie says:

    No in school, learning yet, here…Kinders is a fun age to teach. I always loved being a sub. para teacher in Kindergarten…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Christie says:

    A few things Dave, how do you like not having to wear Wall Street black dress socks, M-F? I’ve wonder if you’ve enlarged your sock, stock by adding a few pairs of sock that are colorful & wearing them, while walking on the wild trail along the cove? /// Now on to the Lady dog-walker who has such amazing posture…perhaps she is related to the late teen or young women on one of your flights you wrote about (years ago) how she sat completely straight with her hands folded in her lap… the entire plane ride…no book or phone…I figured that the young woman might be a model and enjoyed the time flying as time to think…grateful for the time…/// Why I mentioned this: I watched a science documentary about Mcmurdo Station…found it interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I tried commenting twice but I think the comments must have gone to your spam bin or maybe out to cyberspace. Anyway, I wasn’t ignoring your post. I was actually surprised and pleased that you remembered to spit before weighing yourself.


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