Friday, May 16, 2014

Catching Up



On a rainy day there's not much natural light at 4:30 a.m. I made a pot of tea by feel and sat near the window to drink the first scalding cup and watch the morning break. It's going to rain all day and straight through the night before stopping. I will have to wait until Saturday to work in the gardens but the air is mild and the birds are singing so I shan't complain.

The weeks continue to sail by in a flurry of travel and grandchild sitting and time here at the cottage. All the occasions I planned way back in the fall - a month with the older grands while their mom was away, a week in Florida with my daughter - and work here at the home place including the addition of two extra garden beds this spring and the renovation of my patio have come and gone, though work on the patio is not complete nor have I given the metal kitchen cabinets their final coat of paint. But the summer is young yet. And if I continue to wake at 4 in the morning, I will have plenty of time to accomplish the myriad tasks I've set for myself.

I've also been spending time in the past, constructing a book about cousins, gathering photos and memories from twelve disparate people that used to spend every childhood summer together. If you've ever been deluded into thinking that we all live in the same world, try asking someone who went through an event with you to describe it. Between the faultiness of our memories and the transference of our perceptions and prejudices, we remember everything so differently. Thankfully the book consists mainly of photographs so each of us can think of those days in our own unique way.

The leaves are fully fledged now, the wee, raucous house wren that built its nest in the lilac bush near the door is back, the daffodils have come and gone, and the lilacs are in bloom. I pick a handful of asparagus every three days and the rhubarb leaves are the size of elephant ears. The car still runs and so do I. All is well in my world.


14 comments:

Marc Leavitt said...

Hi, Pauline:

When I was still working, I thought time would slow down when I retired.

I was shocked! shocked! when I realized how wrong I was.

Between writing several books, essays, and poetry, I've never been busier; the day doesn't have enough hours in it.

Enjoy your garden, Before you know it, fall will be here.

Wisewebwoman said...

I don't think I've ever been up at 4.30 except to catch a flight. I am getting up earlier and earlier, odd that my father passed on his aging wisdom and said that this would happen. the world is fresh and new and we savour every little bit of life still on offer.
I love your post.
XO
WWW

Brian Miller said...

that is pretty cool on the cousins book...i grew up playing with my cousins...man, we had some adventures....smiles.

Tabor said...

I am an early riser unless I find my insomnia kept me awake for three hours. But I never sleep past 8:00 AM either way. I love that wooden fence, what a perfect bone structue for your soft plants. We have rain all day today and into the night!

Out on the prairie said...

An enjoyable spring, the nesting birds are working over my feeders

Kerry said...

Hot tea on a rain-drenched morning sounds lovely. You're writing a book! It sounds like a memoir, but with the way memory works it could be an interesting piece of creative nonfiction.
I could never write an honest book about relatives; they would despise me for it.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved your post. I read it at a nice, slow pace :-). I think we live in such hectic lives that we forget early morning light at 4:30am. and how beautiful it can be. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Pauline said...

Marc - being retired surely does not mean being lazy - though there are days...

WWW - your father was right, and savoring is just what we should do!

Brian - my cousins were my first best friends. I'm sorry that we all live so far apart now.

Tabor - the rain here is gone and the sun is brilliant. It's heaven to be out of doors!

OOTP - I've exchanged my seed feeder for a hummingbird feeder and just in time!

Kerry - the cousins book is turning out to be more of a picture book with captions! It's fun, though.

Cuban - I love the early morning and watching the sun come up. I don't always wake quite so early but I like starting the day with the sun :)

Hilary said...

I love the idea of the cousins book. I share a close friendship with a number of my cousins also. What a lovely idea.. you give me food for thought.

Your world sounds absolutely lovely, Pauline. And my world has finally caught up - just like you said it would. Happy spring!

Gary said...

I am teaching my first graders to write with vivid descriptions so the reader can visualize the story as they read. I should use you as a mentor text. I want to step into your morning.

Pauline said...

Gary - what fun that would be! Wish I was closer and could mentor in person :)

Judith said...

A lovely read. Especially wise observations about how the world changes with each degree of separation. The juxtaposition in itself would make a book --- twelve accounts of the same event -- or perhaps I should would make 12 books!

Barbara Shallue said...

Oh, it's so true how two people can go through something side by side and remember it in totally different ways. Good luck! What an awesome project!

PhilipH said...

Pauline, again you write with such deft brush strokes. How long does it take you to compose these superb essays? Just wondering...