Racing the Sun

When I get in my car at 4:00 today, it’s 74 degrees and sunny. 

It takes 35 minutes to drive to the coffee shop with the outdoor seating that doesn’t (totally) feel like I’m writing in a parking lot to the soundtrack of rush hour traffic. I check the thermostat on the dash at every red light. Seventy-two degrees. Sixty-eight. 

If I drive faster, can I make the temperature stop dropping? 

I take the final turn, side-eyeing a slow motion avalanche of clouds that was decidedly not up there when I left work. Still more white than grey, but hinting at rain. Hot latte today, for sure.

I set up my laptop. Headphones in, hoping I don’t look as cold as I feel as I greet my friend zooming in from balmy California.

The Weather Channel app says sixty-six, and now I know it’s going to be a race to the finish with the sun. 

We turn off our cameras and microphones to write, planning to check back in after an hour.

Can I make it an hour, or will I need to relocate inside with the patrons who aren’t delusional about what season it is? 

After months of this weekly routine, it feels like defeat to settle for artificial lighting and shared air. I’d always rather write outside.

Sixty-four, and the stream of cars to my right has turned their headlights on. It’s only 5:42—I am not ready for this.

If only the sun were still out. Sixty degrees and sunny would be a delight, but shadows are lengthening and the clouds are tinged with pink and purple as the sun sprints for the exit.

I may have to admit that fall is officially here, and it’s time to move my write-ins indoors. 

Maybe next week. 


  1. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write

    I love the way your writing makes me feel the way I feel when I have this hope and this desire to hang on to something with all I’ve got, even when things are clearly not going the way I want them to. I also feel this way about the approaching early darkness of fall and winter. I love my afternoon walk after work, but after this week I won’t be able to get it in because it will be dark by the time I get home. Keep writing, even if you have to move indoors for a while!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debbie Lynn

    How exciting to connect and write with a friend at the same time, even though you are miles apart. I agree with you…there is nothing more inspirational than writing outside. I’ve not taken the time lately, so you’ve inspired me to get back outside with my journal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy Ellerman

    It’s motivating for me to meet up to write with friends on a regular basis. There’s something about sharing your plans for the time with someone else and then checking in after writing that keeps me super productive. Also I just love staying connected.


  4. Stacey Shubitz

    I remember the time I spoke at CCIRA… one day it was in the high 60s and two days later it was snowing. You’ve got some weather out there!

    Fall is my favorite season (because I think my favorite color is October-changing-leaves), but there are aspects of it that I don’t adore. It’s hard when the chill invades my joints. I don’t like looking out of my window at 5 p.m. and seeing darkness. I could go on, but I do love so much else about autumn.

    How long until you can write outside again?

    Liked by 1 person

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