The light at sunrise here is so beautiful. The moment when the sun crests the hill of trees, directly across the river from the van window, and the true light reaches the water is a moment. Not the slow change from night to day, not the slow lightening of the sky, but a specific two minute period where suddenly the van is golden and the leaves of the trees are outlined in color, a translucent bright green instead of the usual mass. The color of the light is different than at any other time. It’s not that it’s brighter, I don’t think — and actually the shadows are very long, so no, it’s not brighter, it’s a contrast between darkness and brightness, but it’s a glow. And the fog usually has its ghost tendrils dancing on the water, but they are still in shadow, so the trees and lawn are bright and green and golden, but just beyond them is misty shadowed gloom. Yeah, it’s cool as anything, and truly beautiful. 

Autumn tree with river beyond
Not sunrise. You can tell because the river is not shadowed and scattered with wisps of fogs. But none of my sunrise pictures capture how pretty it is . This one at least gets the light on the leaves almost right. Almost.

And for 30 days in a row, I’ve gotten to see it. Well, more or less, some mornings were overcast. But how do I pick the best out of all those days when they were really all very much alike? Much time spent sitting at the computer, but not at all in a bad way. I spent much of July sitting at the computer, pretty much annoyed and hating everything I was doing. This was all sitting at the computer mostly loving what I was doing. (Until the last two days which have been really terrible, frustrating, annoying writing days. More about that in a minute or two.) Some walks with the dog, although not usually very long walks. A little bit of kayaking. The occasional trip into town for groceries, propane, tank dumping, and once, a delightful meal with a friend of a friend. Some good food, although living without a kitchen sink became annoying enough that I basically moved back to van-life cooking. Quinoa bowls and sous vide protein for the win. But always a beautiful view, almost always lovely weather. Even the rainy days were nice because they were cozy in the van. 

There were some days that stick out. I had my worst ever dump station experience, a true disaster, sewage everywhere. Ugh. That was not the best day.  I binged on reading for a few days, accompanied by warm baths, and those were nice. That baked cod with goat cheese I made was delicious, and I had gluten-free chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream as dessert with it and that was all very satisfying, even though the cake was so-so.  

But honestly, I think the best day(s) were the ones when the writing was going well. There was a day when I — realized something? Made a discovery? Had an inspiration? Well, lightning struck. I had an idea. A good idea, that once I had it seemed so damn obvious that I couldn’t believe I wasn’t heading toward that idea all along. And I’m sorry to be so convoluted in my talking about it, but I don’t want to get too spoiler-y. It’s not a twist, exactly, but it’ll be more fun if you’re as surprised by it as I was. Anyway, conveniently enough — or in one of life’s lovely coincidences — that was also the weekend when I saw the shooting star. So I’m picking the weekend of September 21-22 as my best days of the month of September 2019. 

And moving on — I only have a few more days here and I really, really want to finish writing this book before my life becomes disrupting. But the last couple of days were major writing struggle. I wound up cutting out a section/plan because it was just too ambitious. Yesterday I wrote in circles for hours — literally, hundreds of words going nowhere — and finally gave up and went and took a bath. Having a bathtub available is so lovely. I’m going to miss it. But the time spent staring into space while immersed in warm water made me realize that I needed to let go of one of the ending scenes that I’d been planning all along. I was trying to get the characters there during my writing in circles, and it just wasn’t happening. So I’m hoping for better things for today’s words — at least I can see where I shouldn’t be going now — but I’m feeling anxious and stressed about whether I can actually finish this. I have to remind myself that endings are always a challenge, always hard for me, but I so, so, so don’t want this to turn into another Grace. Word by word, right? One at a time, that’s all it takes. In terms of actual word count goals, I’ve hit them — if it was just a numbers game, I could call the story done. Alas, readers rather like conclusions (as do I), so somehow I have to get there. Time to get started on that!