Friday, October 26, 2012

Exhausted Wind

The arrival of fall in southern California comes in like a lion. Whoever said that March comes in like a lion had it all wrong or never lived here. It generally announces itself with two or more consecutive extremely windy days. Coming from the east or inland as they do, they're called Santa Ana winds. In the summer they're unbearably hot and dry, making one feel as though the whole land is one huge oven and you're the roast. In fall, they're still dry, bring an unseasonable warmth to the air and generally make me feel unsettled.

In fact, the phrase "ill wind" comes to mind when these winds blow. There have even been studies about how the ions in wind affect people's moods. In a 1974 study conducted by the Swiss Meteorological Institute have shown that these ill winds cause physical problems such as headaches, dizziness, eye twitching, nausea, fatigue, saline disorders, water retention, respiratory problems, asthma, slower reaction time and host of other even more serious problems. Mental disorders caused by the increase in positive ions are nervousness, emotional unbalance, easily irritated, apathy, listlessness, insecurity, anxious and depression. 

For my part, I always feel a little unsettled and uneasy. It doesn't always help that it's hard to sleep at night as trash cans are getting knocked over, the neighbor's roof-top air conditioning thingy squeaks as it gets blown around and dry leaves skitter down the sidewalk outside my window.  

In other words, I didn't sleep very well the other night. My alarm went off and I couldn't ignore it. It was a running day. I sleepily, tiredly, exhaustedly pulled myself out of bed and looked, mystified, at the running clothes I had laid out the night before. My bright yellow shirt was there, which I couldn't understand, since I only wear it on days I'm going running by myself. Today was a day I'd be running with my friend Amy, right? And since there's two of us, wouldn't need the neon day-glo shirt. Right? RIGHT? My brain was trying to tell me something, but completely befuddled, it took awhile to process. No, this wasn't an Amy day; it was a Laura day and there was a good reason the obnoxious shirt was waiting for me.

I fumbled through getting dressed with fingers made fat from sleep. I brushed my teeth, checked email while eating some raspberries, then got my music ready. I found my favorite playlist and put it on random - I like being surprised when I'm running so I don't get too settled into a musical routine.

I stumbled out the door and started walking for a warm-up, and as the first song came on, I knew my day was going to be okay.

I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I coulda gave up then but

Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something

Now take it in but don’t look down

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay

I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take it with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

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