Saturday, August 03, 2013

Coasting Along

My old cat Parker knew how to spend a summer day.

I've never been the hit-the-floor-running type. Waking, for me, is like coming up from under and it takes a long time for me to wake up properly. Just so, there are days that are meant to be lived on the run, while others are drifty and seem to want to sail along quietly like the vast summer clouds that move like silent galleons across the blue sea of sky. Today was one of those days.

It rained during the night. The grass was wet when I went out to pick chives and parsley for my breakfast eggs. I had thought to pull the dead pea vines and weed out the garden paths early in the morning but changed plans when the phone rang and my sister-in-law invited me along to a fair on nearby Mount Washington. The mountain town rests on one shoulder of Mt. Everett which looms up behind my cottage. There used to be a fire tower at the top, a favorite place to climb up to when I was young. The fair boasts a giant tag sale. Many of my favorite things have come from there - my old fashioned bread pail with its big, sturdy dough hook, the sunny yellow cushions on my kitchen chairs, a croquet set that rides around in the trunk of my car from one set of grandkids to the next.

We didn't find much at this year's sale and I was home again well before lunch. The sun was full out and hot by then so I decided to save the weeding for later in the day. I grabbed a book and a tall glass of ice water and headed for the screened tent but the day kept interrupting my reading. There was the house wren who had ushered the last of her second brood out the door just last weekend and was singing, I imagine, for the pure joy of it. The sun dappled the leaves as they moved in the breeze, huge puffy clouds drifted across the sun and away, and it was all so peaceful and lovely that I could not help but melt into it, my book neglected on my lap.

Finally I stirred and went back into the cottage for some lunch. There was such a somnolence about the early afternoon, a silence that reminded me that now that the frenzy of courting and nesting was over, the songbirds would be preparing for their journey south. Now and then there was a twitter to remind me that for a few weeks more though, there would be birds bustling about. They would simply be quieter about it. I drifted off to sleep listening to the chirp of crickets.

When I woke, the sun was much lower in the sky. I saw the pea vines and the weeds, some knee high, waiting for me. Still caught in the after-throes of some dream, I gathered tools and gloves and set to work, kneeling to pull weeds from the paths, yanking pea vines from their supports and hauling carts of debris to the mulch pile. I picked a few beets and carrots for supper, gleaned the last of the beans from the withering plants, and brought what cherry tomatoes I didn't eat there in the garden into the kitchen.

Bedtime looms. The sky has gone from pale blue to gold-tinged pink to charcoal. A lone katydid is rasping in the dark. The silence of early morning underlay the entire day and has come into its own again with dusk. It's as though I never fully woke at all and the entire day has been a dream.

4 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles..i can hear the katydids from where i sit....sorry you did not find much of anything at the sale....glad you just kinda floated through the day...sometimes that is not bad at all...

Dawna said...

I call those 'go with the flow days'
You were very productive in the garden.. even if in 'dreamlike mode' :)

Marc Leavitt said...

Pauline:
You paint a perfect picture,
And I'm in accord with how you greet the day. In explaining how I start,I tell the get-up-and-go types to think of me as the scarecrow in the wizard of Oz, after he has the stuffing knocked out of him; until it's gathered together,he can't cope, and neither can I.
One point; you have a typo under the cat's picture; you wrote "car" when you meant cat.

Enjoy

Michael Manning said...

With my sleep dialed in better, I'm happy to say I awake early and "hit the ground running", but relax better by evening. :)