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.