I have been moving, moving all day long except when I went to see Kathleen. While I was there, I sat back in the cozy chair next to hers and we talked some about this and about that and then she crocheted while I read her an essay by a naturalist named Loren Eiseley and of course, she could have read it herself. She gave me the gift of letting me read it aloud to her.
The essay was very beautiful. It was called The Flow of The River and you can read it HERE if you want.
I probably stayed too long. I know Kathleen tires easily. But it is so good to see her. I relax in her presence and we always laugh at something. Ourselves, mostly.
I came home feeling very much at peace from the visit and the essay and the beautiful day. One of those days where everything seems cut sharper and more clearly than other days. And then I set about doing little tasks here. Watering and making a spaghetti sauce to go in the crockpot and bringing in a rug which has been hanging over a fence in the back yard since the dogs died, to try and de-stinkify it. It seems to smell okay and I have it back where it belongs but it does not thrill me. The colors of it, once like watercolors, are now muddied, mostly browns and yellows and not my favorite. It reminds me that from here on out, there should be no compromise with what I buy to place around my home. If I can't afford what I really want, I just shouldn't buy it.
And la, I can do with less.
I've always thought that the small things which we use daily are the things we should choose most carefully. The rugs, the towels, the sheets, the coffee cup, the tools we use in our lives whether in the kitchen or in the studio or at the desk or in the garden- these should be things which bring us a small bit of joy every time we use them or walk upon them, pleasing in both form and function.
And when we bought this rug, we knew that the dogs were still with us, old and stinky and apt to have accidents and so we didn't want to spend too much money on something that would probably have to be replaced and so we bought something that was fine, it would do.
It brings me no joy whatsoever but at least it is back under the coffee table now to prevent the floor from being scratched and it is better, I suppose, than nothing.
But next time I go to pick out a rug?
I will need to love it or I will not buy it.
I have days where I fall in love with my house again, just as you fall in love with your long-time sweetheart over and over again. We always love our sweethearts and I always love my house, but sometimes something happens and that first gasp of love, sweetened and deepened with time, overcomes me and I feel that in-love feeling again.
And so it was with my house today. No reason. Nothing special happened. I swept floors and did laundry and moved and covered porch plants because it's supposed to freeze tonight and chopped vegetables and washed dishes. Just the regular stuff. But as I moved about the house and yard slowly, I was very much aware at all times of how much I love this place, tilted floors and peeling paint and cracking plaster and all. Even as so many of the plants in the yard are dead-looking for now, I still thrill at the palms I've planted, green as ever, the camellias about to bud, the magnolias with their leaves so shiny and green, waxy and huge. I walk by the garden just for the thrill of seeing my greens and onions, crooked rows of stunted plants but still...green and growing.
A day where it all pleases me. I appreciate these days with all my heart.
The cardinals are fighting over the feeder right now with chirps and flapping wings, frantic pecking and also sipping at the bird bath, and the sun is going down.
I am tired but it is a very good tired.
We will eat our spaghetti tonight, we shall sleep well.
Beds. Don't be afraid to spend good money on a bed. If I have any wisdom to impart in this world, that would be it. You can quote me on that.