Recently I gave up my morning runs altogether. It happened somehow naturally, without my conscious input. One morning, I just didn't go. And the next morning, somehow, my body and mind were already accustomed to this new way of living.
But that's not all. Instead of running, I've taken up walking every day. (I heard somewhere that walking lowers cortisol.) And for some mysterious reason, I've set a goal of walking ten thousand steps a day. With my feet, that's about 4.6 to 4.7 miles. But that's no limit - yesterday I did 8.7 miles. Just for the fun of it. I had a long walk in the morning and then a longer walk in the evening. And it was awesome.
The thing is that morning walks are totally different compared to evening walks. You see, in the morning, the world looks different. There's light, even if it comes through a thick layer of clouds. You see different things. You see things you can't see in the dark. The world is alive in a different way - in a dying way almost, as winter's approach makes nature lose its colors and vibrancy. Death is all around.
In the evening, on the other hand, the world is dark. You barely see anything. Just one nonfunctional street light between two functioning ones can render the world completely black under it. You can no longer see the death you saw on the morning. Instead, you witness another world - a world that is made with darkness and the occasional light that reveals you haven't gone blind. This world is as alive as it gets. And you're free to roam it, immerse yourself in it, and attempt to understand how it works.
For me, morning walks feel more like exercise - mainly because I tend to have them with an empty stomach. The morning walk is refreshing after a long night's sleep. I get my blood flowing, I get a ton of fresh air, and I wake up. I'm ready for the day.
The evening walk is more philosophical. I absolutely love the darkness. It reveals a whole other world of possibilities. And as most of what you saw during the light of day is now hidden, your view of what's around is limited. That might be the reason why I get a stronger sense of simulation in the evening as opposed to in the morning or during the day. I see the simulation, the virtual reality. I find it easy to believe. I realize the possibilities it presents, acquire a new sense of freedom, and embrace it.