Sunday, June 05, 2011

What I did for my summer vacation (so far)

Warm-breath summer evenings. Limpid light over Loring pond. Falling asleep on a park bench in the sweet-hot sun with a book on my chest. When I dozed off, Jane Eyre was almost finally reconciled to her dear old Mr. Rochester. Another day,I bask with mom in the earthy smell and light of the plant nursery, pick out healthy green shoots and plunge them into the dirt before the evening sun slips away in the yard. There was spotted light through honeysuckle blooms when I went to check the status of the mulberries this year. When all is dark, my brother and I read Twelfth Night aloud and guffaw at all the crazy jokes. I split a cigar with dad around the campfire. Another night, Karl's away gigging, and I spend it with Bob Dylan (happy 70th birthday), window open to the smell of rain; figs, red wine, and a good book for dinner. The next weekend, ducking in through the back door of the Fine Line Music Café with the musicians - that feels fantastic. We haul the keyboards downtown two nights in a row, and I get to dance all weekend. Yet another evening, we smile straight through the new Woody Allen movie with dear friends. Midnight in Paris, it's like home movies for us. Afterwards, we traipse through the book store, end up around a bottle of French wine at Lucia's. But why let it stop there? Another Woody Allen movie and ice cream to boot? Yes. 2 A.M. is the new midnight. Another day, afternoon tea party in a tornado, and I get to catch up with old friends, newly-found. "You really should read some Willa Cather." The next morning, her prose grabs me and thrusts me into the fields of Nebraska, and it's all I can do to tear myself away to cook dinner - everything else is on hold to find out how Àntonia fares in the end. I think I would have made a good pioneer woman. I like hard work...when I'm not devouring books. A knock on the door surprises us several evenings later. "Grab some shoes, we're goin' to the park to play fourquare and shoot hoops." We still have neighbor "kids", even though I'm 32. The next night is spent chasing three little pink T-shirts of various sizes all over the playground, discovering and giggling till exhausted. I biked, ran, and babysat that day. That's like 7th grade. Most days, I bike all over, and I cannot do so on a summer day without a silly grin affixed to my face. Everywhere smells like flowers - first the lilies, then the lilacs, and ever more. I spend a late afternoon with yarn wound 'round my fingers in the coffeeshop down the street, and the Knitting Club finds me there. "You have a thing for yarn, too?" Wednesday nights are booked, hereafter. Another day, drove Karl to work in Northeast, and spotted flowers in the dumpster in my rearview mirror - who would throw away blooms like that? Oh, my path is strewn with flowers. And music. I jog laps to the strains of a Saturday afternoon mariachi band and cheers from the horseshoe court. Homemade coffee ice cream to cool down. Grilling down by the river with our tackle-box bbq from Grampa Walt, followed by a stroll under a yellowed fairy-tale moon aside the mighty Mississippi and dam. We try to pinch our eyes awake for an all-nighter arts fest, but end up sacked out on the couch. Avant-garde is only so engaging after a certain hour.

A time to be thankful. To write letters. To pray. To scrub my kitchen floor. To invent. To play. To work, quietly. What a gift, this summer vacation! He makes me lie down green pastures and leads me beside the still waters, restoring my soul. A recurring thought over the past few days: I don't remember the last time I was this happy. It's not that I have been unhappy as of late. But this feels like fulness of life. More about that soon.


Joyfulartist said...

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
No matter what!

Henry said...

I can absolutely feel the tingle and the joy in this posting. The happy life! Oh life in God, oh feast and love and beauty! We are captured by his wonder. Thank you for this summer picnic of delights. Dad