It’s the end of July, the middle of summer. This is how I feel when I write this. Momentarily sad.
It is how I felt as a kid every year in the middle of summer holidays. Then I would plunge into August, and forget. I’d go back to waking every morning, hear the crow family having breakfast, hear the songbird I had never seen. Feel the warm air fall through my open window and across my face. And then my first thought, always–what do I want to do today?
Anticipation. Excitement. Pure pleasure. What I was really asking? What do I love today.
There is luxury in waking like this, in love, knowing I have the whole day to play. No demands. No have-to’s.
I am doing this today. A gift to myself, to be in love and play, all day.
I want to write. That’s a given. Haven’t done any writing for the better part of a week and my mind is itching to go.
What else? Sit on the back deck in the shade under the grapevines. Let Edgar the Cat drape himself across my legs. He can nap. I’ll daydream and not do anything else at all. Just be here. Just be.
Maybe, after that, I’ll get one of my puzzle books from my studio and my blue-purple-green-pink pen. Return to my lounge chair in the shade, do crosswords and logic puzzles. More word play. I love it.
I’ll wander inside to make lunch. Sesame bagel and cream cheese and Tuscany ham. Green olives fished from the jar. Cool water from the tap. Oreo cookies, the originals. Each one carefully pulled apart and eaten in layer order. Summer lunch. Satisfying to the stomach and the soul.
What else do I want to do today?
Read. All afternoon. The book recommended by a friend and borrowed from the library. Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work. Small book. A gem. Read the obituaries, he says. They’re about life and risk and creating a heart’s desire.
Then, begin rereading Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird. This is my fourth reading. My fifth? I’ve forgotten. Parts of Anne’s book live inside me now. There is a reason people talk of devouring a book, of being a voracious reader. That’s me. My body is words from the books I love.
Dinner now. Easy. Rice and sweet-and-sour pork leftover from last night. A two-night dinner, I call it.
Finally, a game with my husband and son. Klondike, or a few rounds of Sorry, or Scrabble (more words). We played Scrabble last night. A close game all the way, the best kind of game. Long and short words, all over the board. Corner to corner. We make up our own rules, and they change each time we play.
This is my day, in the middle of summer, the end of July. A day to play, to please myself. A gift. No demands. No have-to’s.
I wish you such days in your life, such gifts. What do you want to do today?
Mentioned in this post:
Austin Kleon, book Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Workman Publishing Co., 2014 http://austinkleon.com
Anne Lamott, book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1995 www.salon.com/writer/anne_lamott