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Dawn in the Summer

Last summer I did everything possible to like summer, for a change.  It worked rather well.  Let's keep pushing, to consolidate those gains.  There is something about summer that could go under-appreciated if you don't force yourself to dwell on it a bit: early sunrise.

A retirement age person doesn't sleep like a 30-year-old.  In winter, a camper in the desert Southwest might want to wake up at 3 in the morning, but then resists doing so because there are so many hours until dawn.  They think they are doing something wrong.  But actually they might have already had 7 hours of sleep by that time.

It isn't easy dealing with all those hours of darkness in winter.  But summer has solved that problem for you.  In the cursed Pacific Time Zone where I am now (central Oregon), dawn is at 0415. 

In the summer I notice the birds in the area putting on a little musical performance. For whatever reason, you don't hear that at dawn in the winter, in Arizona.  And dawn isn't freezing in the summer!

It isn't automatic or easy for a person to appreciate the things that are worth appreciating, perhaps because we expect appreciation to flood over us, all on its own.  The other school of thought says that appreciation is an intentional discipline.  I incline in that direction.

But what does "discipline" mean?  I find it helpful to push myself at being patient towards discomfort of some kind.  Call it "being a good sport" towards discomfort, and seeing past the end of it.  Then, when the season or the geography changes, the situation reverses itself.  You find yourself dwelling on something that is the opposite of the discomfort.