A friend who had asked a favor of me said, “I know you are very busy, but…” Actually, I’m not that busy right now. I’m being kind of lazy. The other day, after my bike ride and dog walk and breakfast I sat down and watched an episode of the Great British Baking Show on the iPad at the dining room table.
In the house I grew up, and the one I raised my children in, watching TV in the daytime in August no less, might as well have been a sin, or at least the middle of a slippery slope leading straight to pool halls and smokey bars.
It was a good show. On pancakes, batter breads technically, and lacy pancakes specifically. That, and a (finally) change in the hot weather to cooler and grayer days (thank God) prompted me to split a few last rounds of firewood, sweep off the porch, and set up the wood rack for the winter.Of course, stacking wood lead to freshening the chicken coop (all the clean sawdust in the wood pile from sawing up the logs shouldn’t go to waste) and that lead to washing curtains.
What did I do this summer? Well, I rode my bike 3500 miles. So that’s something, and attended many Haines Borough Assembly meetings ( four more left in my term and yes, I am counting…) and rehabbed my dog Pearl from leg surgery (18 weeks of it… and she’s come through great), and there were picnics and beach walks, and a house full of children and grandchildren- during a few of the best and crazier weeks for days at a time- and now there are even tomatoes, although I hadn’t planned to garden, the six lonely plants I bought at the farmer’s market and nurtured in the greenhouse thrived.
And I wrote a book too, or to be more correct, finished one. So I guess it’s okay if I watch a little bit of that British baking show? Don’t tell my mother. Or my children. But not today. Today I’m going to haul seaweed for the garden, because next summer I’m going to have time to grow a really, really good one.
I have a new habit, or at least I’m trying to make a new one, of not checking my phone or the iPad first thing, until after coffee and a bike ride, instead I sit and read and re-read my favorite essays and poems. Short pieces to prompt wisdom or grace, and look out the window and pet the dogs. Yesterday it was Jane Kenyon and E.B. White. This morning I opened up Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott, and on the last page she writes this advice to graduates, which is good for anyone commencing into a day just like this one:
“You are loved. You are capable of lives of great joy and meaning. It is what you are made of. And what you are here for. Take care of one another. And give thanks, like this: Thank you.”