Saturday, April 27, 2013

face turned toward the delicious world of the outdoors

Perhaps my epithet will read -- "she never did publish that book, but her life was nonetheless forever enlivened and crushed by the written word." That would be accurate, no? I spend an enormous amount of time on reading, describing and communicating what others have said. (Isn't that what being a law is all about?) And more recently, I am spending not a small amount of time trying (and not yet succeeding) to reposition the way my family must redefine 'stuff' now that my father has died. It's awfully complicated.

I'll throw out a tiny piece of what I've discovered: it's very hard *not* to be a Polish citizen. Daughters, did you know that you are that by virtue of being born to one who was? Or, rather, is? Because once you are that, it's not as if it's easy to be not that (even if you wanted to be not that, though it's not clear why you would negate something that hasn't, it seems to me, any negative consequences associated with it).

Anyway, it's because so much of my non work time has been consumed by other paper shuffling activities that when good weather finally came, I threw it all aside and said -- let me be. It's glorious outside. I want to be outdoors.

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But first, I go to yoga. And let me make a note to myself here: Nina, try not to sign up for 75 minutes of power yoga before breakfast because, really, you'll struggle. And I did. Me amidst those young ones who can twist bodies into incomprehensible positions.

After yoga -- well, breakfast. And by then it is 10 o'clock and the temps have climbed to maybe 60 and isn't that an invitation to eat out (for the first time this year!) on the porch?!

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So now I am in the grip of the beautiful spring weather. I do the downtown market with my girl...

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...and then she and I take a hike at Indian Lake County Park...

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...where, I admit it -- it's not really fully exploding in the way you would want it to explode come spring time, but it's warm outside and the familiar path is welcoming in an early season kind of way.

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Later, at the farmette, I cajole Ed into cutting back dead branches and trees and, well, shrubs that may as well be dead. This is difficult for him: he sees cutting a branch that has any remains of growth on it as painfully destructive. So we proceed cautiously. First, out come the *for sure has not lived will not live let's get it out of here* stuff.

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And then I make suggestions: it really really really will be better for the tree if we take away these branches. Sometimes he'll agree, other times he'll be too concerned about destroying something for reasons of whimsy rather than necessity. He'll shake his head and I'll let it go. Because really, the goal is only to make things better. To be good stewards. To improve, to cause no harm.

In the evening I make soup. In the big pot the color of my pants. The color of daffodils.
Do the daffodils multiply? -- Ed asks.
Yes. They're naturalizing daffodils.
Do they live forever? 
No... thirty years maybe...
How come they don't crowd each other?
I don't know...

It's good to retain a hefty dose of mystery about the outdoors. To be thrilled with the unexpected.