Usually rise about 4:30 am.
Have done so nearly all my adult life.
It is quiet, peaceful, and gives one lots of time to think.
Was asked recently..."What do you think about when you are out there walking alone?"
You know...I never thought about it before....and there was no good answer.
This morning, I followed my usual routine: awake at 4:30...sneak to the thermostat and click it onto manual so the house heats up nicely before my Significant Other awakes (in Her own room these days)...set the breakfast table...click on the coffee maker...and return to my room where one of my computers is warming up...then I read e-mail - mostly "delete" stuff - but sometimes Daniell Hebert has an update which I NEVER miss...move on to Astronomy Picture Of The Day - did you see that pic of the Super Storm Cell - WOW !...then to CNN News where most of my morning is spent.
This morning, a special Bulletin was on the net...Elizabeth Edwards has stopped any further Cancer Treatment and has been advised she has only a few weeks more to be with us. Been following Elizabeth for years as she reminds me of my own experience.
Sitting...pondering about Elizabeth and John, the question I was asked recently seeped into my thoughts..."What do you think about when you are out there walking alone?"
Looking into the drawers of my mind, I come to realize that I think about folks like Elizabeth...and about a young boy in Korea...and about so many others. Funny, I do not think so much about Me. I think about others who have come into my life and are no longer in my life...until I realize that not many have really left...I seem to carry them around filed away in one drawer or another...always there when walking alone over our Planet. And when that drawer opens, I relive the moments...and I try very diligently to recreate the moments we shared.
Often, many many years after the moment, the folks popping out of their drawer are absorbing...that is, they become more real than perhaps they actually were; I am sure some learned folks have a "category" for my thinking. Perhaps. But, that is their problem, not mine. I just walk and think and walk and...
Bruce Bothell and I were walking South on Korea's Highway from the DMZ and Munsan-ni into Soeul. As we neared the North Gate Check Point, sidewalks began to appear next to the chewed up macadam roadway. Piled high wheelbarrows were pushed or pulled - and once in a while an Ox labored in front of an apparently full Honeybucket. Folks were mostly in white soiled torn garments...a few folks were hawking something or other...bottom line: lots of folks were going one way or another with big guns booming a short 30 miles away.
As we approached the Wall and the North Gate, we came upon a young boy...oh, about 7 or 8 years old...lying half on the sidewalk. Dozens of folks were passing by without a glance at him.
The other half of the boy should have been in the gutter...but, there was no other half.
How he got there? Why is he there? Is someone looking on from a hidden doorway?
The boy was not crying...he was looking...looking to catch some one's eye.
He caught mine.
Full of pain
"Oh my God", I said to Bruce, "we ha...."
"Don't touch him !"
Bruce grabbed my sleeve and jerked me onto the road and pulled me toward the MPs at the North Gate now only 50 feet away.
"You touch him and he is yours..."
I was looking back at the boy. His eyes were still on mine. His hope. His future. His reason for living...was walking away...leaving him to... ???
Well, these are the things I think about when walking out there alone.
Elizabeth Edwards...the legless Korean boy...and then a car slows and stops next to me...
"Hey, your Bruce, arn't you...?"
"We would like to have you stop at our home for dinner and tell us about your walk..."
I thank them.
My thoughts will again return to Elizabeth and the legless Korean boy...and so many others filed-away ... moments shared along this road I walk.