Thursday, August 17, 2006
I'm trying this out. Thinking nobody will ever read this, and I like it that way. To just have a place to put things, out there. My little quiet space.I'm basically doing this because typing gets thoughts out much faster than hand-writing. And I've felt that urge to write again...typing facilitates it, and I don't want to ignore it. So let's get on with it.
Today I wanted to write because I had this thought in my head - this line (they always used to start out as lines, and then the writing came pouring out once I wrote the initial line or lines in my head): "We've had an exquisite summer. We've been blessed." The thought came without anything "special" or unique to which I could attribute it...(God, it's hard to write after I haven't for so long...because the weight of the thought that this is ON THE WEB weighs on me...ignore the audience!)...It came when I was staring out my bedroom window, after I had watched the neighbor kids play in their yard, marveling at them, wondering what goes on in their heads...thinking how nice that family is, and they don't even know I think that. Because they hardly see any of me, or my family. But they are very visible...always outside.
Today was just my favorite kind of day. Grey skies, a brightness in the atmosphere, before and after rain. A suspense building, about when it would come, and the sounds and smells that go with it.The verdure of summer makes me happy. Rich, emerald, glowing green, frothy trees, the effusion of bright, curling vines, shoots, grass. The droopy abundance of leaves arching spines on their gigantic trees, bending over with their feracious weight.The time felt long, slow, quiet. Sounds fuzzy and buzzed. The echo of calm children's voices in the thick, silver air. Outside my bedroom window, I smiled watching the workers do the roof on the empty house across the street. They were calm, too. Working all day, slowly, methodically, rhythmically. They shared a bond, and were gentile. I thought it was so funny that it's mid-August, and this strange, empty, darkened house, whose owner (if that's what he is - who sometimes sends a teenage lackey) makes rare appearances to mow the lawn in the summer, collect mail, or shovel snow in the winter, has started repair work on his dilapedated Victorian. I've lived here for 2 1/2 years now, and the upper windows of the house across the street are always boarded shut. The lower windows are always dark and empty.
Houses have always fascinated me. I've always dreamed about them, wandering through rooms like mazes, examining the details within....
I've always wondered about the next door neighbors as well. Marveled that they can live 5 with numerous guests in this tiny, tiny house and spend the majority of their free time in their little strip of a yard. There's grass in the west side by the house, but where most of the running around and swinging from tree swings and riding of bikes and wandering of dog and placing of wading pool when it's hot, hot, hot takes place, the grass has worn away and there appears to be a rich, black mud. The southeast corner, they have lovingly dedicated to a vegetable garden. I was very surprised when they had that, the first summer I lived here. I thought a yard filled with junk cars, random parts, rusty bikes and neglected toys and 2 old dogs (now down to 1) would not like to nuture a garden. But they do - and they're very good at it. It's thick and big, and last summer, they sent over lots of tomatoes and zucchini and habenero. They also grow corn and sunflowers.
Last summer they also added an odd deck, about a foot off the ground, built into a small L-shaped corner of the house, outside. Put plastic table and chairs on it, and I didn't see anyone sit there. It's right in the bright sun.But this summer, I was pleased to see that they do use it. I've seen the mother, in summer attire, sit with the baby. I've seen crepe party decorations strung up from it. And they added a nice wrought-iron hook set in the ground there, to hold flower baskets, which are doing well. I guess they must water them and I don't notice. I had a pot of cilantro, thyme, curry, rosemary, mint, chives on my deck, but for lack of remembering to water them (it was a gift, my first plant in years), they quickly were scorched by the sun. I felt bad.They have a nice front garden, too - all flowers. Funny, I don't think I've seen them tend that, either.
Our yard is full of weeds. At the end of last summer I attempted to remove a portion of them. I spent about 2 hours doing it. Then my hands swelled up, red & itching for 2 or 3 days. My neighbor later informed me that it was poison oak. No, I was not wearing gloves. Unfortunately, I'm not a gardener. But perhaps one day, insha'allah.
So my thoughts came at Asr time. The late afternoon glow. And thankfully, no rush into evening. I love August. My thoughts about this summer's exquisiteness came after a beautiful afternoon spent with my sister, father and little son at The Children's Museum downtown. It was magnificent to see his face light up, masha'allah, to see him so filled with energy, curiosity, and concentration. I wish I could inspire him like that every day. That is my goal. But alhamdulileh, I felt no guilt about a self-judged lack of anything...because I was too peaceful, just being. Just hearing the crickets and feeling the slowness of time. I hope we can go to Sugarloaf again this summer. It's this saturation of nature that makes me so happy. And of course, when I felt this particular happiness, I wasn't anywhere but my own house today, my own city...but on days like today, nature lolls and gushes and takes centerstage in your mind.