Monday, May 26, 2008
Happy Memorial Day! Today is my normal day off following working the weekend. The Mr. and Daboyz are both off so we fell into a holiday together. Later we'll grill swordfish and veggies. Nothing spectacular on the agenda. I'm a big believer in letting the day unfold and not over scheduling. Those kinds of days off leave me more worn out that working!
It was sixty three degrees at 7:30 this morning when Donny and I headed outside to check out the weather. The sky is overcast. It reminded me of all those summer days behind me with nothing on the agenda then either. With so much change in the world and in me; some things stay constant. I try to keep my heart and mind open and aware so that the good foundations aren't forgotten. To no one's surprise, this morning reminded me of summer mornings on The Farm. Living in my grandparent's house makes that kind of inner time-travel even easier, although those memories are never far away. But after The Farm was gone, the nothing on the agenda days of summer were still captured in this very house and this very yard that Donny is right now sniffing with great enthusiasm.
The Mr. has hung a bird feeder for me that has become quite a wild life preserve! Sunday morning as I drank my coffee before work, I saw a blue jay, cardinal, robin, crow, sparrows, doves, black/gray/brown squirrels and a rabbit. And I had just commented to Trish that we have no rabbits! My grampa had bird feeders all over the yard. My grampa also had a cement bird bath that now sits broken at the side of the garage. The Mr. bought me a new cement bird bath for Mother's Day along with that bird feeder and some hanging petunias. It couldn't be any easier to enjoy those old summer memories for me.
I am blessed that my childhood summers were entirely unstructured and uneventful. I never awoke looking for an adventure. I was taught that having nothing to do was an adventure and privilege in itself. I was a child who awoke in Irish Hills and came downstairs to find my grandparents and parents drinking coffee and chatting. Windows open in the no-air conditioning farmhouse with muggy good-smelling summer breezes. Often overcast days, like this one. They didn't bother us. No one sat at breakfast bemoaning the clouds. Days were just accepted as created by God. No sense getting upset over such a thing as weather.
The summer time was gift enough with no school and waking up to grown-up voices and the smell of coffee assuring me that I was with the people who loved me most. On The Farm was a hammock on a frame. It was green with white fringe. The fabric reminded me of heavy denim and the fringe was like rope hanging off the sides. You had to kind of launch yourself into the center of the hammock to avoid either being dumped right back off rather unceremoniously OR the thing going into a spin altogether leaving you underneath. Then you had to stand up and untwist it to start all over again. The hammock was a little rough under your fingers and it smelled warm and summery. I hope you know what warm and summer smells like because that is the best description I have.
We don't have a hammock (yet.) We do have a chaise lounge with a green and white cushion on it and this morning it smelled summery although not yet warm. I watered my petunias and decided not to worry about the clouds because there is a muggy summer breeze stirring which is just as good. This morning I didn't use my own large coffee mug. Remember, this is my grandparent's house. I used one of their coffee cups and toasted the morning with nothing to do. I didn't wish for the old days or for them back but was grateful that I had enough summer days together to know how to do them right.
There are men and women who have given up days swinging in a hammock and watching their grandchildren spend the day doing nothing but living in freedom. While I number farms and the smell of coffee and hanging petunias among my treasures, let me not forget that all of this "nothing" has been bought again and again on my behalf. The quietness of my days has been charged to soldiers being rattled by the sounds of gunfire and screaming.
This morning there is no one less deserving or more grateful than I.
Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.