Straight Up Spinning

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."                                                                                                                                     --Steve Martin

3:44 p.m., Sunday, September 22 here in God's Country. At this exact moment, the sun is crossing the equator, moving south.

Our planet is spinning upright in relation to the sun. It only happens twice a year, this straight up spinning. Night and day of equal length. Equinox amidst the highs and lows.

Not hot. Not cold.

Sin, redemption.

Yin, yang.

When I look for the balance, it's not hard to find.

After years of September yawning, our beloved Kansas City Royals remain mathematically alive for the post-season at the autumnal equinox. For the first time in more than a generation when we say, "Wait 'til next year," this time it's legit.

We're one power hitting right fielder (and maybe a Max Scherzer off-year) away from contending for the American League Central Division Title (Bud Selig's caps.) How would free agent-to be Carlos Beltran look, back in the powder blue, hitting between Hosmer and Butler, he asked rhetorically? 

JM and I are bound for Denver in a couple weeks. To see the Eagles and the newlywed doctors between diagnoses of auscultation of cardiac murmurs, nasogastric tube insertions and other life-saving maneuvers. It's been an entire summer since the Bright Line.

Cooler weather and half-marathon training await. I'm running the Music City Half with my sis-in-law in Nashville in the spring and gotta gear up. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. These days, if I get the last one right, the other three tend to fall into place.

Autumn's always been my fav season. Harmony between Kansas weather extremes.

Gov. Bill Graves' staff reunion on the last day of summer. Older, grayer (smarter and better looking, too -- all of us), we spun the planet backward nearly two decades to a time when we pulled together side-by-side in the same direction.

One quick memory from '94.

The economy had reached escape velocity and the state coffers were so fat we couldn't shovel cash back to people fast enough. On the stump, the candidate-come-Governor would refer to these various and assorted end-of-the-rainbow treasure pots as his "tax plan." Spent weeks whispering in his ear, encouraging the addition of a key word: "tax relief plan."

Call it straight up spinning. 

Since the summer solstice, our oldest dog, Rover, has lost 15 pounds. After blood work and the schlepping of dog turds to and fro (actually just to, I draw the line at schlepping dog turds fro,) the vet fears doggie diabetes.

With the sun hanging lower, it'll blaze in my wife's eyes for two hours each weekday. October is bright for the MHK to Topeka commuter.

By the winter solstice, Rovie will either have doggie diabetes or she won't. Frey, Henley, Schmit and Walsh will be on a beach somewhere, taking December off. It's tough being 60-something rock stars. I'll be deep into half-marathon training.

The precipice of middle age will have drawn 90 days closer. You, me, the Eagles and Carlos Beltran will still be falling through space, clinging to the crust of this speck of dust in the universe, seeking balance.