For ‘blue Monday’, nature is definitely trying its best to shift those blues to one side.
This morning I was greeted with a clear, blue sky with just wisps of cloud catching and burning orange as the sun rose, and the odd vapour trail from aircraft high above.
On the horizon a large, full and yellow moon sets, nestling from time to time in the monochrome branches of bare trees, and I catch it and lose it as my train weaves its way up the southern English countryside. Beneath it, the ground is hard and silvery. In town the temperature had crept above freezing by the time I woke, but out here away from everything the air and ground is still frigid from the winter night.
I am enjoying these staggered commutes so far – the scenery is good, and doing the same journey at the same time twice a week means I am noticing the dawn creeping ever earlier, and – something I’ve missed for a while – I am more and more aware of the conditions outside and how they change over time. For too long I was sealed away from these subtle changes.
The rhythms of this route feel familiar to me from a childhood spent growing up at the end of the Metropolitan Line: London will ever be a train journey away and I grow to appreciate the cadence of familiar sights and sounds on the way there and back. A (mostly) predictable bubble of time I can disappear into for a while.
And when I am sated on the outside world, I can turn to the inside one: reading articles and blog posts, listening to music and field recordings and podcasts and mixes, and reflecting. And from most of those I can draw inspiration which might, I hope, coagulate one day into something worth doing or thinking or saying.
Making this early morning journey in winter means that the spreading daylight coincides with the oncoming day. I board the train with only a gloaming in the sky, and by the time I emerge at the other end, the day has very much begun. It will feel different again as the year progresses and I begin my journey in full sunlight. But that is just another seasonal, temporal progression, one of many, that I am looking forward to feeling unfold at its own pace.