Monday, July 13, 2009

What is Now

There is something to be said for contemplative time - quite a lot, actually. After the hurly-burly of the school year, the early risings, the hurried morning ablutions, the meeting of deadlines and timelines, it is marvelous to sleep until I awaken naturally, to practice yoga before breakfast, to sip my first cup of tea as the first rays of sunlight wash over me, to bring my food to the outdoor table.


I am surrounded by flowers and green growing things, by songbirds and rooster crows at dawn, by areas of intense sunlight and of deep greeny-black shade. Underneath it all is the silence of the rural countryside, a silence undisturbed by surface noise, a silence that holds the singing brook, the laughter of flowers, the sighing of the wind, the whisper of passing clouds.


Some days I plan projects, on others I let the hours unfold, waiting to see what might happen. I spend a lot of time with books, reading piles of them from the library, picking up paperbacks at tag sales, pulling old favorites from my bookshelves. I write poems that appear sometimes fully formed first thing in the morning. I write entries in my daily journal, make comments in the margins of books. Ideas find their way onto odd slips of paper that I collect and put near my computer.

In the afternoon, after a nap (an hour drifting in dreams) I hop on my one-speed (mine) double-cheek-seat, pedal brake bicycle and tour the neighborhood. One four mile trip takes me through town, another skirts the center of the village altogether, leading me instead past the river and along the edges of cornfields and hay meadows. A third takes me a straight two miles one way and another two back.

On Monday afternoons (and sometimes on Fridays) I spend hours searching the database at the local Historical Society looking for our ancestral link to a Civil War General. I have been writing what family history I know for my children and grandchildren, learning things along that way that might explain my propensity for dreaming rather than doing, my vast affection for the out-of-doors, my need for alone (and contemplative) time.



Fall will come soon enough and with it the return of the rushed mornings, the time-dictated days. For now, I will relish every moment of summer freedom I have, delighting in the morning mist that slows the sunrise, the brief beauty of my garden flowers, the happy splashing of the catbird in the makeshift birdbath, the hours that unwind in shades of gold and green, the quiet time spent with books and pen, the hovering visits of the hummingbird, the dusky silence that greets the evening, the last kiss of sunlight on treetops.

13 comments:

riseoutofme said...

Sounds and looks idyllic ... the stuff of dreams ... beautiful writing..

Barbara said...

You have come to embody the true essence of mindful living. You are my role model!

Pauline said...

Thanks, rise - I am allowing it to be a sort of dreamtime. This is the first summer vacation I've had since high school that hasn't been dominated by a job.

Barbara, I am flattered. I've never thought of myself as a role model, at least not one someone would want to follow!

herhimnbryn said...

An evocative piece P. The lazy, hazy days of summer.

Meggie said...

Lovely images & thoughts here.
A benefit of aging?

Roberta S said...

Hi pauline. You pulled me into all the magic of the imaginery as you always do, reduced me to a dazed hypnotic state. And so when I reached the last line I found myself reading "the quiet time spent with brooks and pen"
rather than "books and pen" and had no realization of the error till I reread it. A miss-read that I think complements the way you write. Lovely exposé.

Roberta S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roberta S said...

Oops! Sorry, pauline (for the mess). I accidently duplicated my comment.

Ruth D~ said...

I so identify . . . contemplative time is important, and so is allowing yourself to have it.

Beautiful post-- from sunrise to sunset, quickly pass the days.

Sky said...

this piece left me feeling so tranquil. your words let me drift along with you. i am glad you have this kind of time this summer. we all need it. i worked in a very stressful job for over 30 years (social work). after i retired and these days you describe became my routine i became a different woman. now any appt i have seems to intrude, and i can hardly wait to return to the tranquility of my days in the garden or sitting beside the nearby lake observing the wildlife and noticing the light as it drops in and floats out of the surrounding firs.

Pauline said...

hi HHB - wish the days were hazy but we've had a lot of damp and cool. Lazy, they definitely are!

That may be, meggie, but I've always loved summer days...

lol Roberta - I spend a lot of time with brooks too so now harm done ;)

yes Ruth, the days are sailing by even though I laze through them. Why is that?

sky - it is heaven to just relax into a day.

Molly said...

Reading this made me think that if I were at a loose end and could live anywhere I choose, one of my top three choices would be your village, but you'd have to promise to stay there and be my neighbour! That way I could come over and inspect that pumpkin plant "as big as China" and mooch breakfast off you and books-----summer is a good time for day dreaming!

Jean said...

La 6 eme photo en descendant , (la dernière) est magnifique !
Un rêve !