Tuesday, August 13, 2013

night and day

I read that someone took a blanket, flung it in a field last night and lay there gazing at the shooting meteor fragments. For an hour.

Our mosquito population wouldn't allow for that. Even as during the day we can work outside and not be bothered by them, by night time, they are on the prowl. Last night we had our tent ready. A brisk walk, zip upwards, jump in, zip down.

Do you think Isis will find us? I ask.
Within minutes.

Ed is right. Two minutes later, the meowing begins. We open the tent, grab him, put him inside. So now it's Ed, Isis and me, in a tiny tent, waiting for the meteor shower to present itself.

Not for long. Isis wants out. We push him out. Ten minutes later he's back. But he wont come in. A touch too claustrophobic for him, I suppose. So he meows. Perplexed. As in -- what are you two doing in this trap in the middle of the field?

He climbs on top of the tent. And so now, instead of a meteor shower, if you look up, you see Isis.

You could say that the hours just after midnight were spent on me telling Isis to either get in or stay out, on Isis meowing at us at a safe distance, and on watching Ed sleep through it all.

But every handful of minutes I would see a shot of light spear through the heavens, and in between, there is that vast starlit sky to remind us of our own smallness, and, too, there is a hearty nip in the air and so you would be right to think that this night is exquisitely special.

Eventually Isis goes home and when sleep comes, it comes with that powerful force of the outdoors, a heavy but kind sleep, a sleep like you would have had way back, before the kids were born.

And then it's morning and the sun climbs up, up, up and every colorful plant around us shimmers in the new brightness.

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...even as it is so cool outside that, as we stumble back to the house, a porch breakfast is not our first choice. We are back in the sun room -- our winter breakfast retreat! -- just to feel that warm sun on our faces.

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And then work takes hold.

Yes, there is always a break. Today I water the sheep shed flower bed for the hour I take off. There's joy in watering, especially on a cool and windy August day. Standing there with the hose I almost catch myself wondering -- why leave these routines now? Why go away? It's a familiar question and at my age, I no longer feel compelled to answer it. It is the way it is. Pleasure -- such as that found in watering my beloved flower beds -- is only one aspect of life.

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Evening. We pick up Thai food at our local Curry in a Box and take it to the pine scented tennis courts. There's no one around. We eat boxes of chicken and red curry and spring rolls with veggies right there, below the pines and then we play a very dignified game of tennis...

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...all the way until sunset.